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2012 Miami Book Fair International Saturday Education. (2012) Coverage of the 2012 Miami Book Fair International. New.

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Us 44, America 32, United States 27, Christopher 20, Jackson 16, Miami 15, Washington 15, Berlin 14, Canada 12, Vietnam 12, Iraq 12, Carol 12, Israel 11, Joseph Kennedy 11, Boston 11, U.s. 9, Sam Adams 9, Cleveland 8, Johnson 8, New York 8,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    2012 Miami Book Fair International Saturday  Education.   
   (2012) Coverage of the 2012 Miami Book Fair International. New.  

    November 17, 2012
    3:00 - 7:30pm EST  

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given that nations around the world are in different phases coupled with the greatest different culture, how would you go about stressing these institutions? it could take a long time for the national institutions. thank you. >> it will take a long period of time. in most countries are round world talking about strengthening international institutions is the third rail in politics. if you want to see a little sovereignty of ford and you are out of business. if we don't see sovereignty upward we don't preserve national sovereignty or national interests. the reason superstorm sandy cause such damage in the northeast of the united states was not exclusively related to environmental policies and actions taken in the united states of america. ..
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>> if i can add one more thing, remember the beginning of the united states of america. economy of the this southern states in the northern states is very different. they were very different from each other. even today, the economy is very different. we found a way to deal with that
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and the regulators are the same is true in europe and china and india. same is the same is true and brazil. this country deals with gaps between the rich and poor, agriculture, and earthen industrialize an evolving in much the same way that we're going to have to on the global stage for a the problem has been solved and can be solved. >> host: good afternoon, we have a caller from new york city. >> caller: hello, i'm so happy you're taking my call. my question is this fiscal cliff that we are approaching. if president obama allows it to happen, what kind of catastrophe are you talking about? i'm kind of concerned? so negatively will this affect the industry? how bad will it really be out there on wall street and main street? >> guest: well, let's say there are a bunch of people where the
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congress is involved, democrats and republicans have a role to play in whether we resolve this or not. the fact that we litigate to this extent, we are leaving the american people what the risks exposed with the fiscal squibb on time, it wants be outraged that it's generated. the fiscal cliff is a problem. you go over the cliff and the consequences can be beautiful% of gdp growth due to automatic cuts by six or $700 billion. the day after that, the market could fall seven or 800 points but washington will get the message. what i fear and what i think is the risk is that they will fix it with a patch that is
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short-term, it's not substantive, it doesn't have a lot of nutritional content to it and we are going to be right back in again and again. markets will lose confidence. we will gradually lose our global credibility as an economic leader. we might see our credit rating damaged more over time. and it is the slow defense of the united states that is the real risk. the fiscal cliff is something that can be fixed fairly easily. >> host: finally, i would like to go back, david rothkopf come to your comments about government. national government being neanderthal it. there was a throwaway line of sight while we are still organized as nation states economically. again, where we going in the future. >> i think we will see the
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future. because we live in geographic proximity to one another, we also have city governments, state governments in the united states, we have a federal government in the united states and it's only natural that another layer of government that deals with issues of loss. but over the course of the next hundred years from the lives of our children and grandchildren, we will see progress with it. the big question is whether the balance between the power of those public entities and big private enterprises that are the size of most of the biggest countries in the world. it also remains unbalanced. right now, our future is being determined in financial markets that are regulated by anybody. where the risk of a blow is a risk to each of us and those
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factors have been very successful in shrugging off and keeping away kind of regulation that could mitigate that risk. and the point is we need to pay attention there and we need to balance their, particularly in the united states, we are seriously out of it. >> host: david rothkopf is our guest, he is the author of "power, inc.." our live coverage from the "miami book fair international" continues. there are three authors on this piano and trim panel -- three authors on this panel. we have candice miller, david nasaw, and les standiford.
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this is live coverage from miami. is the united states of america, the largest and institution, ruling out thousands of students that are a campuses. we are very proud to be presenting the miami book fair international every single year. for those of you who may not know, is to quit never. we offer nine baccalaureate degrees. we are still a two-year institution, but we also offer baccalaureate degrees. with that, please turn off your pagers, cell phones, and others come so that we can have an uninterrupted event. with that, i would like to introduce somebody very special
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and dear to our hearts are at miami-dade college who will be introducing our authors. please welcome arba parks. [applause] >> good afternoon. it is an honor and privilege to be here today, especially at in american history event. i love to look out and see so many people here. people eager to learn and do things about american history. unfortunately, candice millard, who is going to speak on president garfield, was unable to speak today. but we have two outstanding speakers and i know that you will not be disappointed. the first is david nasaw, who is
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the author we are featuring great when i picked up "the wall street journal" this morning, there was almost a full page review of this book. so this presentation this morning, it is very timely. it was a very good review. this is the third biography that doctor david nasaw has written. he will wrote one on andrew carnegie and william randolph hearst among others. today, he will be speaking on the plutarch's, the remarkable life in turbulent times of joe kennedy. he said that he is wanting to
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get to know the person of who he is writing. he has been called a brilliant and compelling author who wrote a brilliant book. i am sure that you will be happy to hear from doctor david nasaw. another speaker we have is les standiford. director of the creative writing institute and a mentor to many young aspiring writers in our area. he has written in so many different topics screenplays and short stories and anthologies. and seven narrative nonfiction books. including washington burning and a favorite of mine, last trip to paradise. today, in a very timely topic
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for what the world is experiencing in our own american history that we are making, it is called desperate sons, "samuel adams, patrick henry, john hancock, and the secret bands of radicals who led the colonies to war". thank you, and i know you're going to enjoy the presentation. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. i am david nasaw and i am absolutely delighted to be here. the sun does not shine like it does here in other places. as i tell my history students until they want to choke me, the
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past is a foreign country. we can visit their, we can try to learn the costumes, we can translate the language, we can feel the air in the light. we can sniff the pregnancies and recoil at the foul orders. we are foreigners in a strange land. writing about the recent past is not easy. as i learned this time around. first, there are people you talk to. while i was privileged to talk to a a lot of kennedys, it was difficult for me as a historian working with living people. i would much prefer to work with documents. with living people, you can't tell, but you have to figure out
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what is true, what is not true, what are they tell you, whether they think it's true or if they do not -- whether the stories came from the more if they are told with the same authenticity and vigor. it is not always easy to establish one's distance from it, to construct the strangeness of a past that is close to us. and yet, this is what historians have to do. our job to complicate and take apart a commonsense view of the recent past and interrogate what we think we know. two d. mythologize and move beyond the clich├ęs about winners and losers and saints and sinners in the wisdom and courage of the greatest
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generation. to tell a different story, but a true story. based on all the evidence that we can find. the life of joseph pete the life of joseph kennedy was like a fun house mirror. it would often organize and arrange his zealot type figure. he was everywhere. he was born in 1888. he lived through world war i. the transition of silent films
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to talk in films and wall street during the boom and bust. he worked as part of the franklin roosevelt campaign team. he was the first chairman of the securities and exchange commission. the first chairman of the maritime commission. the first irish american to be ambassador to the court of st. james and great britain. and the father of the president and attorney general of a senator, the woman who did more for the mentally disabled in this country in this world than anyone else and who will come 100 years from now, be as well-known as her brothers, i think. and the youngest, jean kennedy
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smith, the ambassador to ireland, who was instrumental in arranging peace. and senator edward kennedy. the longest serving senator in the united states senate. the story of joseph kennedy is a story of a man who spent his life moving back and forth from outsider to insider to outsider and insider again. it is the story of an irish catholic who is not ashamed of his heritage, but who refused to be defined by it. his parents have been warning the united states. he was a third-generation immigrant. his reference to come here when they were young people. joseph kennedy cared little about the countries whose grandparents had been born in.
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he had no desire to visit ireland or read about it. he was 100% american. he couldn't understand why anyone would think of him as less than 100% american. his anger growing up was the catholic church. being irish catholic in boston, he needed an anchor. he was born in east boston is a kind of local royalty. everybody knew his mother's family and his father's family. his father was a prominent politician and very well respected, very well admired. a very successful businessman. joseph kennedy went to boston. he was a star.
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he met with the prettiest girl in boston who also happen to be the mayor's daughter. she would later marry. there is a story of the baseball team, he was class president when he went to harvard, and again, he felt part of the community. half of his class when with him to harvard and it was only when he graduated in 1912 that he understood, for the first time and not for the last what it meant to be the irish catholic son of an east boston politician. he wanted to go into banking and finance. he didn't do the job.
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he didn't get a job offer. he didn't get an interview. all of his friends and classmates, some of who were not as good with numbers as he was, none of who were as articulate or charming or handsome as he was his friends or that were protestant all got jobs either in their family banks or in other banks. the only way he could get into banking was to take a civil service exam and become an assistant bank examiner. his job was to go around the state and examine bank books. he believed that from that vantage point, they thought they
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would see him and offered him a position but they didn't because he is an irish catholic boy from east boston. the one area, the boom area, the yankee bankers of boston, he thought was a fad that was going to go away. because no one else was paying attention, he got into film. using a local bank is his piggy bank, one that his father had helped start of the east boston
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trust company, key, using his friends, he raised enough money to make a bid on a film company. he found his way to hollywood. and in hollywood, he made a big. why? because he learned how to make his being an outsider into an advantage. he arrived in hollywood is another kind of an outsider. a christian. he said over and over again that i am the all-american boy. i am jack armstrong, i'm a boston banker, and i'm here to rescue this industry from the bad reputation that it has. the reputation it has spread over it because of the dominant studio heads and producers are jewish. i am not a jewish person. and he said that probably.
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and he made lots and lots of contacts. he became the boy wonder of hollywood because hollywood scared to death that towns and cities all over the country would begin to censor the movie pictures and put restrictions on children going to the moving pictures. why is that? because there was something corrupt about in entertainment that was controlled by east european jews. kennedy was not and east european jew. he made his fortune because he knew how the world worked. and he knew how the stock market work. he knew how wall street work. every student at one of the higher and had to pay him in stock options. he took those stock options and he held onto them and he
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manipulated them and he drove them down and up and down and up. and up into the stratosphere. when he left hollywood after a couple of years, he had filled his dream of making enough money so that he could leave every one of his nine children a million dollar trust fund. so that they would not have the problems that he had had. okay. the rest of the story is remarkable. it took me 800 pages after a lot of pages got cut out in my new book, "the patriarch: the remarkable life and turbulent times of joseph p. kennedy", so i'm not going to be able to tell very much of it now or it but from hollywood, he remained the
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insider outsider, insider outsider. supported roosevelt. he was an integral part in the first commissioner of the sec, in which he wrote so many tough laws about stock traded that when he was finished coming out of stock trading stocks and put his money into real estate. the way he had made money, he had not outlawed. he went on to be the first irish american ambassador to great britain, as i said before and was the first irish american ambassador probably the worst that this country has seen as an ambassador. he did everything he possibly could. he did everything he could to appease hitler. the author of the munich agreement realize that you couldn't make a deal with hitler. the kennedy kept trying.
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he returned to this country in 1940 in disgrace because he made it clear that no american dollars to go to support the british because they were going to get defeated. the only way the americans survive was to make a deal with the germans and italians and japanese. because war would destroy the country. the united states. we would go back into depression, capitalism would be threatened, and democracy would be threatened. he became a pariah, an outsider in 1940. in the last remarkable chapters of this man's life, from 1940 until 1960, the kennedy family goes from being, you know, load
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two in 1960, joseph p. kennedy becomes the ultimate establishment figure, the father of the united states president. i thank you for your attention. [applause] i can better see from this vantage point. i thank you for letting me be
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here. especially among writers like mr. david nasaw. having written some history set in more modern times, i want to talk to you today being mindful about what david says. among the problems of writing about people who have descendents and those who are still alive and are connected -- not only do they want to give you advice as to how to tell your story, but some of them you discover have lawyers. [laughter] so it was with some sense of relief that i left the relatively recent president and went back to prerevolutionary loitering. i am always mindful. i started off as a writer of
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fiction with 10 novels. almost by accident, got the chance to write the book about henry flagler and his role in the west. i did my best. i look at the notes at the end of all the researching. and i said, what am i going to do with all that stuff? and i tried this way and i tried that way. finally, i threw up my hands and said to myself, let's tell the story. it was the only thing that i knew how to do. to tell the story. so i told the story of a man who wanted to build a railroad from miami to key west. everyone said it was impossible. when you look at it that way, it was pretty easy. when you start in miami and key west, you're done.
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fifty only difference is, as i like to tell my students, i still teach diction and i tell my students, we get to a point where you need a novel fact and it's fiction, make it out. but in the story like this, to get to a point in your narrative and you don't have that fact, that your sources in the library, and if you can't find the fact you need, then you have to change her story to fit the facts. i suppose that is something that any journalist could have told me from the outset. but for me, it was something of a learning experience. in this case, i have told the story that we call desperate songs. samuel adams, patrick henry and
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john hancock. in my book, "desparate sons: samuel adams, patrick henry, john hancock, and the secret bands of radicals who led the colonies to war." the shot heard round the world was heard -- by that time, my book was finished. because i discovered that i had run across an article published in "the new york times" by the beginning of the current housing bubble bursting that it wasn't the first time that such a thing had happened. i began to tug on the threat of bad sweep of history. before you knew it, i have this book begun. a different way of bringing you into what it is about, in the wake of the recent presidential campaigns, the question of the day should be what now.
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a financial cliff looms. a partisan cliff threatens and modern-day tea partiers vow that their control of republican fiscal policy will be pried away from their cold, dead fingers. some might shrug and call this politics as usual. the glance backwards shows that impasse is not always inevitable. current commentators are using this as a benchmark. the truth is that the first major bubble to burst talked even for the nation was formed. during the french and indian war, which spanned a decade from 1754 till 1763, the british order of the troops spared little expense in the new world. housing prices skyrocketed throughout the northeast. as a result.
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greatly troubling benjamin franklin, who just returned after five years as an on which ones at the expense of living is greatly enhanced in my absence. he added that land values were troubled in the past 16 years. locals who profited as merchant providers were quick to emulate the habits of their sophisticated yet. when any highflyer needed an advance from the answer was simple. legislators a -- putting out local currencies that this would never end. but when the freespending troops have been withdrawn from the party did end.
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houses only sat vacant. mortgages went unpaid. homes and farms were seized. it surveyed the future issuance of further monies from the colonies. and a teetering on collapse. parliament, desperate to recoup some of the vast sums passed the stamp act become a imposing a tax of varying sizes of every business license and legal documents on up in the colonies, as well as every copy of every magazine and newspaper printed. not to mention every deck of playing cards employed by those employed by lady luck to see them through hard times. cries were heard all across the land. how could a government be so out of touch, the columnists wondered. americans were already out of work, out of cash, and uncle.
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burdened by sugar and molasses taxes and sick and tired of and unwieldy bureaucracy rife with overpaid incompetent functionaries who had no interest in their struggling. columnists were cast out, fed up, and demanding a change in the way their government off operated. if this sounds like a recap of some of the rhetoric that has been flying across contemporary airwaves, that is little surprise. tough times have always made for talk politics. but there is one significant difference to keep in mind. collins had no hope, however illusory, that the next election or the other party might turn things around. in fact, there were no elections of such. ultimate authority resided with the king and parliament. it was not a rhetorical saying.
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no taxation without representation would become the rallying cry against the most formidable military power on earth. given our current sorry circumstances and bellicose political row over it, we can also remember that the expectations of our forefathers were made on behalf of the desire to forge a nation out of a group of colonies that even then comprised quite disparate interests and planters, farmers, merchants, indentured servants, persecuted minorities of all kinds. even after the nation was forged, sometimes endured well into the succeeding century, but the citizenry was united in a common purpose to endure and to succeed. to those who wanted to forge a system of government, nothing was more important than the maintenance of the new system.
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here i am going to close by segueing is something that might give you a little bit more of an idea specifically what is in this book. calling this five differences between the original tea party in today's war. five reasons you should have seen their losses coming. you have to amuse yourself. the original tea party was conducted on british ships by highly radical, political organization, known as the sons of liberty, composed largely of working men, and today the so-called tea party of the new sons of liberty represent the most conservative wing of the republican party. the original sons of liberty were orchestrated so that an american government could be
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formed. contemporary members enjoy them benefit of that very government. they just don't seem very happy about it much of the time. three was most of all in the american colonies, it was held by british subjects who led the commoners of their day. they will happily tell you that 47% of their fellow citizens are moochers. [laughter] and bostonian sam bottoms, you see him on the beer bottle and chief spokesman, and he was properly attired for his appearances on the continental congress. michele bachmann buys her own quotes. [laughter] temporary tea party members threatened to orchestrate a congressional impasse that will send the government over a
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precipice unless democrats come from us on issues such as spending, universal health care, and the end of tax breaks for certain wealthy persons. in 1792, sam adams was asked supported whiskey rebellion farmers, who had begun shooting at federal agents rather than pay taxes they consider unfair. voting against the king, it was just and necessary, he said. but in his opinion, any citizen of a democratic government took up arms against the government are, in his opinion, ought to be hanged. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> we will take questions. we would like you to walk to the microphone. >> in your research about joseph kennedy, there was controversy during the 19611959 election of joseph kennedy manipulated politics. did you come across any facts about that? >> yes, yes i did. jack kennedy didn't need his father to rig the election. there was mayor richard daley did very well in illinois. that is number one. number two, there were rumors that the mob helped in and
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around chicago allowed to vote. political scientists have gone over the voting data and look at all of those districts in which there was a higher percentage of union representatives of the unions that were supposedly controlled by the mobs, senator kennedy underperformed in those areas. so kennedy spent all the money he could, pulled all the strings, but jack kennedy certainly did not meet him in chicago, and kennedy would have won the electoral college even without that. take you. >> you make joseph kennedy found only positive. i've heard stories of years of less than savory things.
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maybe that he was a bit of a pirate. do you have any examples of that? >> yes. hundreds and hundreds of pages. [laughter] you write a book, you stick it out. and you discover what it is about. and the book has only been out tuesday. but it has gotten lots of reviews. all the reviews make it sound as if i had done a hatchet job on the sky. maybe i have. because his behavior towards jewish americans, his behavior during the war, his behavior is a ruthless businessman was not something to be celebrated. and i certainly don't celebrate it in the book.
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>> comment on the religious passage. >> in 1960, jack kennedy -- his father said this. if jack kennedy had been promising, he would've gotten 54 or 55% of the vote against nixon. congressional democrats got 54.5% of the vote in 1960. jack kennedy got 50.1% of the
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vote. millions of white protestants who otherwise voted democrat did not vote for jack kennedy because he was a catholic. his presidency changed the dynamic of electoral politics, national electoral politics in this country. because whether you like kennedy or not, whether you are going to vote for him if he had lived in 1964 or not, it became abundantly clear during his presidency that he made his decision for himself based on the constitution and what was best for the united states. there is not a phone in the backroom. bathroom. you know, hooked up to the vatican. with the pope calling in and saying do this or not. it sounds ridiculous. but there were millions of people, and there were some very
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important protestant leaders, including billy graham and norman vincent peel, who said do not vote for a catholic because a catholic is less than an american. a catholic has dual allegiance to you. i think the kennedy presidency change that. >> okay, the day of reckoning, [inaudible] >> joseph kennedy's attitude and respect to jews in his very own anti-semitism, you think that it had impact on his attitude towards where? >> no, i think one can be -- have i put this? kennedy did not approve of hitler's actions towards the jews. he was appalled by it.
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he came up with his own plan for rescuing the jewish refugees. the joseph kennedy, in his teachers and his letters, and his comments and conversations, it became abundantly clear to me that he bought into every myth about jewish conspiracy and about jewish people being loyal to only one another and about them running the new deal. it was called the jewish deal by many of the opponents. kennedy was anti-somatic in many ways. but he was not a nazi idolater. he was not a sympathizer of hitler and was not charles
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lindbergh. >> you talk about joseph kennedy , his wife and [inaudible] when joseph kennedy had an affair with gloria swanson, he was never at home. so the home was not as happy as we seem to think. and yet the children were outstanding individuals. how did that come about? >> i have written three biographies now. one of the things that i have learned is that people are contradictory. all of us.
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there is no one in this room that has done something that says, that is not like you. there are very few things saints and sinners. most of us do good things and bad things. what i discovered in writing this book is that joseph p. kennedy was a remarkable and extraordinary father. when he was in london, separated from his children, he wrote each of them letters. he wrote nine separate letters. he knew what each child was doing. he knew that eunice were 200 school and was too skinny. he knew that rosemary, at the time, was slowing needed encouragement and to watch away. he knew that jack was too sloppy and careless spent too much
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money. he knew that joe work too hard. the kids loved him and they loved him. it was his greatest accomplishment. at the bay of pigs, which was, jack and he believed was the end of his presidency, it was a disaster. it was a political disaster and a personal disaster. because kennedy felt responsible for every soldier who was either killed or taken hostage, and he felt responsible for each of the individuals. and he also felt that his political life was over, as did his brother, bobby. when jack was so low, his wife reported that he was crying, sobbing. bobby said, let's call dad, he'll make us feel better. and they called his dad in palm
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beach and dad on the phone and he said, well, this was a disaster. but jack, it's a good thing that you got this debacle over early in the presidency. by 1964, no one will remember it. and you did the right thing by taking full responsibility and apologizing to everyone with the american people. the american people will forgive you. the pools will rise from you will be okay. and the boys hung up the phone and they felt better. and the polls did rise. in his presidency, that was the nature of that presidency. >> samuel adams was such a remarkable revolutionary leader.
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could you tell us about different styles of leadership in the different approaches to the issues of the day and how they thought movement should go forward for independence? >> welcome, the truth is it was a little easier for john adams because of what sam adams had done before him. sam adams had been called by a number of people because he was the chief spokesperson and policymaker for the sons of liberty. they have separate cells of radical people opposed to the british, certain that a revolution was necessary. they sprung up independently across the colonies in connecticut and new york and pennsylvania and south carolina. sam adams became the chief letter writer, the political
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strategist. and stories told of a neighbor that would walk by his house at 2:00 o'clock in the morning, and he would see the light in sam's body and know that his pen was scribbling along, trying to lead us towards independence. that is how important he really was. of course, john adams came on in his wake and did some remarkable things. even defended, if you read the wonderful biography, defended the soldiers in the boston massacre because he believed it was right. much more a man of action and sam adams, who was a man of principle and it was said of him that he was the living embodiment of the principle.
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>> my question is about the founding father. if it wanted a toolbar with, which one would you go to the bar with and why? >> of all these people that i write about when. >> yes. >> i think sam adams would be hard to compare it, as important as he was. he didn't talk about anything but what he believed in. i think i would probably pick someone like isaac seers who have any buccaneer. someone who made a living by pushing british ships in the sea's off of the eastern eastern seaboard. but very interesting and dedicated man, someone who was his life and all this was done in secret. had they been found out. he stood to be hanged for treason if they were found out. this is not just playacting. it is often said that it is
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almost, in trying to comprehend what they accomplished, as if they went to war against the united states government and one. you now. that is just how impossible it seemed when it all began. >> thank you. >> who, in your opinion, with the most radical? who is most radical? well, certainly in his passion, and his depth of passion and ability to convey its and rally the troops, war supporters, it was sam adams. i believe that if it had not been for sam adams, people always ask this question. did the sons of liberty really create a revolution? my answer is yes. history shows it.
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were there hasn't been a revolution at the time that they did this? maybe. when, we don't know. some say that we could have ended up like canada. yes, we would have late great britain. the other interesting thing that is at the debate in this book is in academia. it remains in history a real debate whether or not this was an exercise in idealism or pragmatic under economic undertaking. they still couldn't come to grips over the issue.
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i think it was a combination of both. there was no one more driven in that way than sam adams. even christopher gaskin, john hancock who actually took action. >> thank you. >> are there any other questions that we have time for just one more. >> okay. >> this is a dedicated question after.
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>> i'm a former college professor myself. the question i have is basically, what is going on here in america? i'm sure you've done a lot of research and what is your opinion? >> i'm not quite sure i understand. when the country has turned out? >> but that it can come back to life and look at what has been created its own? >> the way the country has turned out is wonderful. these guys took a great chance for many risk their lives. in fact, there is not a lot of
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what is between these guys between fiscal policy and so forth. david mccullough was on the last two weeks talking about the fact that we have become historically illiterate. lamentably, in his opinion. they asked him why that was. i wonder what you think about that. can i ask a question? >> do you agree with that? >> well, it is the fault of my wonderful profession, i think, in large part. i don't think we teach history as history should be taught. it's wonderful comments about, it's about our past, it helps answer questions about her present. i think the better we teach history, the further we get away from seoul and fact driven textbooks and the more wonderful stories that we have, the more our children and we ourselves will understand how extraordinary and exciting it
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is. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you to our authors. we will have autographing. autographing to the right of the elevator. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> he has live coverage from the miami book fair international, and it continues here on the campus of miami dade college in north downtown miami. coming up is another panel.
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this one is on christopher hitchens from the late christopher hitchens who died nearly a year ago. it is a postmortem. it is called mortality. his widow, carol blue, will be on the panel, along with his good friends, martyn amos and robert wilde. that is the panel coming up in about a half-hour or so. we will bring you live coverage of that, as well. after that, carol blue will be joining us to take twitter, e-mail, and facebook comments. just the social media. we want to show you those comments right now. if you want to send in any any comments or questions you may have for carol blue, can do it at booktv@c-span.org and you can do it via twitter as well. booktv -- at booktv is our twitter handle. and facebook.com/c-span. -- actually,/booktv.
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sorry about that. we will have a chance to get to them when we are joined by carol blue. now joining us on our center in miami is a familiar face you watch the history channel. a familiar name if you like thrillers and novels, and that is brad meltzer. sir, it's not often that we talked to authors about lisa simpson and dolly parton and the three stooges. why are we talking to you about this? >> because i bring only the highest of high wherever i go. [laughter] ..
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the things you keeping your car that the movers can't touch, that's your life. those are things no one can touch. remember, we move, mom and the front seat to my dad and the front seat, sister and i and then back. behind this had rest were two bottles of champagne. and that was that clear sign to us. we were their lives. i remember driving from brooklyn to miami. they're rolling back and forth in the florida sun. my family knew nothing about how to care champagne. when my daughter was born i said, i'm going to write a book that lasts for whole life.
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underwriter, novelist. all right a book for her. all fill it with a gray years that i can find to my including lisa simpson and rosa parks and amelya air force -- amelya earhart. i should tell you, i thought i was going to the right advice. a friend of mine saw me this amazing story. sally ride, america's first female astronaut in space collided as a picker? of all people, why her? and some say it's because she is a physics geniuses and others say it's because she was a great athlete, which she was, i dare devil, which she was gone but the real reason is because nasa took out an ad in her college newspaper, and basically said, we are looking for female astronauts and will you come. she took an opportunity, side, and seized it. i want my daughter to learn that lesson. i want her to learn if she wants something gst go after it. that is what it really is, way
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to give for those euros, as far apart as dolly parton, amelya hard, bring them all together so that she can learn their lessons firsthand. >> host: brad meltzer, where are those two bows of champagne, first of all? >> guest: on the day i got married they opened at the champagne. it was the phallus, worst tasting champagne never had in my life, but of tell you, it was also the greatest class. it was infused with all the love of those 30 years. though they have for me. no question, buy champagne care is done. >> host: in between, both your parents died. >> guest: but my parents -- >> host: both your parents passed away. >> guest: yes. it's interesting. is it would have been my dad 69 per think. he has been on my brain alive. i sat down in bed with my son
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yesterday, and you're talking about him. you know my think my dad would have been a kick about saying that it was 69 because the foulest sense of humor of anyone. i could think of day that he would have been like, i'm 69 now . and there's a reason why the laugh heroes in this book, one of them is my mom. my mom had passed away when i was working on the book. she was sick. my mom, years before she got sick, when my second novel came out the publisher shutdown. there is no life and my mom. and the publisher had shut down. i thought, these are my last moments as a writer. this is said. i'm not going to be will to make it. my mom with me when i'm little. i called thinking this was the end of my career. this is it. is now working of the latter won it. she heard how terrified and scared i was. she said, i'd love you if you were garbageman. and she was taking a crack at
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garbageman because moscow was a garbage man. she sang and care for the queen of england to my left you. to this day every day that i sit down to write as it does words to myself. in my dad, a couple of years ago , before you went in for surgery. piper place the surgery. he was terrified because he was 18 years old and had surgery in died on the table. the flat line. and so he's worried that this will be the last moments of him on earth. his blood pressure is raising. they can't even call him down. they fill him fall of tranquilizers' before they can give him the anesthetic. it finally taken upstairs. an hour, hour-and-a-half, two hours. he finally comes down. the doctor says, do you want to see him? short. i go into the room. my dad is full of tranquilizers,
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and a static. he opens his eyes and said to my love you. then he says, eyes of a dozen books of there. that's what you're thinking of? did he tell them about the direction iraq by two parents really went into every barnes and noble and every independent bookstore america . my dad has definitely been the hero on my mind let me. >> host: very quickly, when did you first published your first book? how many have you written, novels. how many books of the stall? >> i am now, i have written eight thrillers. the ninth coming of in january. a serial killer who is imitating all the presidential assassins from johns will both -- john wilkes booth to lee harvey also want. two nonfiction books.
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and then a lot of comic books i read as well. those seven fun. in terms of sales i could not even tell you. my mom and dad could tell you. i think something like 13 million books in print or something stupid, but it's odd because my family by so many copies. i went to clean out there house. i cleaned my dad's apartment, and in the closet i opened the door. there were tons of my books. it was like all the books in america my -- father and mother had personally bought a. al is appreciated their sales numbers. >> host: our guest for the next 25 minutes. (202)585-3885 in the east and central time zone. 585-3886 in the mountain and pacific time zones. we will begin taking those calls in just a minute. you talked about your mother's death. you refer to it as well in this euro, nancy brinker.
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>> nancy brinker, i think everyone knows. we all see it. if you watch an nfl game. where it comes from is, you know, i wanted someone in their to remember my mom. where it comes from is that nancy brinker had a sister lying in bed with breast cancer. nancy promised her and said, you know, promise me, promise me that, you know, you will let it go on like this. she said to her, i promise. and because of that all the people run the race for the cure because this one sister promised another should not be forgotten. i love the story. for my mother had died of breast cancer, everyone out there who is fighting breast cancer, a woman who came today to explain to me, today and said she just found us will be battling breast cancer. the only way we let that fight go on is to keep telling these
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amazing people stories. she was one of them for me. >> host: how old is your daughter? >> guest: seven. >> host: how many kids? >> guest: three, two sons, one daughter. sen number to get the first book. here is my son, 52 heroes. my daughter, 60. i repeated a couple because i want my daughter to have rosa parks, ghandi. there were some that needed to be repeated. my daughter gives the book and looks at it and says to mount my books. and took my daughter had time to realize she had the bigger book. took my son of about a month before he was like when a minute don't bring it up in my house. it is a huge fight, a big issue. my daughter is very happy that it's physically bigger and has more heroes. >> host: one of the hardest.
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>> guest: agreed to cheryl, strong woman, foreign minister, prime minister of israel, amazingly strong stateswoman. one of the stateswoman in there. i felt like it was very important. it is interesting. she has a story in the history this based so much on what we would call his book, but pushing her way through things. and try to figure out, was the lesson. i don't want to the -- i didn't want to -- she raised so much money in america, came here looking for money and found millions of dollars to support and help israel grow, but i did not want it to be about fund-raising. i found this one story that i love. she used to invite other statesmen out to her house bury she would bring into her kitchen . and first, it took me awhile. i don't want to say that she's in her kitchen doing things. that's not the lesson. but the reason she brought them there is so that they would see the world on her terms.
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she brings them to her place. it's funny. i handed it into the editor. he said to me, i have one problem with the book. one of the once you looked at. i said, was the problem? you use one word over and over and over again. a fighter. use the word fighter in almost every entry. he's a pacifist and utah and the fighter which i guess it shows my lack of command of the in the sandwich to but the truth this i want my daughters to learn how to fight. i don't apologize for that. i want her to know if she wants something that she should fight for it. if she sees injustice she should fight harder than she ever has before. don't be the princess waiting for the press to come rescue. you can rest yourself. so i changed the word fired other words, but over and over realize that i kept picking fighters for my daughter. >> host: there are a few men
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in heroes for my daughter, including randy. >> guest: one of my favorite. it's interesting. when i did he rose for my son i included women. it's amazing how many women, surprised year included men. but i feel like i would be doing my own daughter a disservice to say that only women can be heroes. of course men can. you have to reach a higher level if you want to be in this book. many people saw his last lecture , dying of pancreatic cancer and basically decides to give his last lecture on how to live his life and the chief his childhood dreams. one of my dear friends and i was working on this book was a guy named jeff as low who wrote the book the last lecture. i basically said, i want something, a story that nobody knows. people know he was on oprah and very famous and in all these things about. i said, give me something that nobody knows.
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he told me this amazing story. he said to me, the story is this. everyone knows he was famous and that when he was dying of cancer that he inspired so many people. what i loved is that his son right after he died, days after he died his son went to his dear friend and said, is cancer solvable? and his friend said, you know what, it's not solvable. there is no cure for cancer, not all. he said during you know what, my dad told me that everything was a problem that could be solved. how could there not be cured. what i love is the recently, last summer, his son was on capitol hill lobbying for of all things, bank credit cancer research funding. it's important when millions of people hear your message, but it is far more vital when just one person acts on it, and i love that his son is inspired to take action like that to try and cure that an incurable disease. so, of course, he became one of
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the heroes. >> host: the first call for him comes from matthew in portland oregon. >> caller: hi, good morning. can you hear me? >> host: good morning. >> caller: yes. enjoying a lecture. i just wanted to bring up, women heroes to my was thinking, i can't remember the name. of famous warrior woman. this war year. she had a training camp where all the high quality warriors would go and learn from her. also a lady that helped lead the resistance and mosso to bring up the american writer, billhooks, famous writer and also, bring up
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the pakistani girl that was advocating for compulsory education for girls in pakistan that extremists tried to murder. could heroes. just like to make that comment. a let you go to my and my condolences. i love how you talked about the fighting and that women do not have to be submissive to man, especially physically. women are more than capable of being trained to be a will to defend themselves. yap. >> host: all right, matthew. >> guest: i appreciate that, and i should also tell you that so many, matthew, of the people that -- and we started writing heroes for my son, when on facebook and twitter and said, is there any others please send them to meet. one of the things i love the most to so many people have gone on that facebook page and said the heroes. one of the last ones to my never
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heard of her. it know who she was. this young girl who had polio. the doctor said she would never be able to walk. her mommy's to drive back and forth. take a bus for hours and hours and hours trying to get her to doctors' appointments. finally she's a little girl, the take her braces off and she starts running. she starts running faster than anyone. she was the bronze medal, a triple gold medal. the fastest woman on the planet. what i love the most, when they ask her about that later she says, the doctor said are never walk again, my mother said i would. i decided to listen to my mother it was because of people like you who wrote to me on facebook and twitter and said, you have to hear the story. so i like the pakistani girl. what i love is to buy exactly what you said to ordinary people we will change the world. it doesn't have to be famous, have their own tv show or make a lot of money.
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regular ordinary people that no one ever heard about. those are the best euros in the book. >> host: janet in marshall's creek and the pennsylvania. good afternoon. >> caller: thank-you, and thank you for taking my call. i was on my way out the door to run an errand when i saw brad meltzer on your program. when i heard the word euros is just reminded me of a conversation i just had with my sister. it was over the book death of the west by pat buchanan. he said that we have stripped away the heroes out of our history books and the schools. i just think that we need heroes to look up to emulate. right now and seems like in this country we have a trickle-down and morality. and so just hearing all these books and your philosophy, brad,
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of getting euros out into the public just really enlightens me i feel so good that you're doing this, and i look forward to reading your books because i do believe we need to have heroes. >> guest: i appreciate that. no, you're exactly right. one of the things that everyone, whether we like there not, our kids are going to pick heroes. we might is will have a say in it. if you don't they will pick some dumb athlete or reality show bimbo. to me it was important that my daughter and my mother and wife, give this as a gift in sick when you're a hero to me. the most important page in the most important hero, let me tell you, the last page. their blank. what a military member of your
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family. you put the picture in this book. rye one sentence of what they mean to you. that will be the most important hero. and i want that message to be out there. we might as well give people this way to say, there is so much good. our country is starving for heroes. this election shows of more than ever seen, and for me this is the way we can remind people, there are great people around us every day. >> host: what you do at the history channel? >> guest: we do a show called decoded. the official title is brad melters decoded. as the greatest of all time. tonight as like to have the pasta. and she said, you can the slick on the couch. but every week we tackle the greatest mysteries of histories. we tackle whether john wilkes booth's -- both them as a shot of abraham lincoln.
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the premier book. we have this woman who came to us. she told me years ago the, her family came on the show and said , when i was a liberal my family said we have a secret, family secret. we are related to john wilkes booth. in the secret is no one can know that he never died. he actually lived. he had a new identity, and here's what it is and here's the proof. not trying to sell a book or movie. just one of her story to before she died. whenever you think about history, when everything, you have to stop and go, when a minute. is the writer ron? we tackle these questions i think what it does best is we are not a conspiracy show.
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i think people ever get the history, not a bunch of dates and facts but a selection process. it is not just choose people and moments and masson together. it seizes every single one of us. the only question is, do you hear the call? >> host: good afternoon from miami. go ahead with your question or comment. >> host: -- >> caller: yes. hello. i love decoded. and i want to us -- i just saw you on book tv and recognize you from your other show. i paid attention and got a chance to talk to you. i have a suggestion for your next book. >> guest: i'm ready. >> caller: okay. more heroes for my children. keep it up. i love -- i'm looking at buying
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your book for my grandchildren. >> guest: i appreciate that. grandmothers are our best customers. i want you to know, just think, i recently, if you really want to know what the back -- next book should be for me, i spent time with the uso. adjust the back for a uso tour across kuwait, some undisclosed military locations spending ten days in four countries on eight military bases entertaining the troops. if you want to find the real heroes, the ones i would include another buck command as the men and women in the military every single day without any of us knowing and are doing incredible things. of course the people fighting in the front lines, but the ones moving water and supplies and books, all things, and food. this massive operation. if i was a reservist, what you doing a civilian life? i work in lows in the planning department. i mean home depot. i've worked , a guy who is a
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marketing manager of a small company. it is as everyday ordinary euros. i believe ordinary people change the world. i don't care where you went to school, how much money you make. believe and regular people and their ability to affect change in this world. that is what they'll have in common. >> host: of your novels popular with the military? >> guest: it's interesting. ten years ago i got an e-mail from a guy who was on a submarine. he said to me, i can't tell you where a.m., but i want to tell you that your book and a lot to me. took my mind off things. plumy away. >> host: which put? >> guest: the president's daughter and the white house. he did -- he wrote to me. i, publisher and said to me you know, can i get to a dozen books donated to the uso? is said to short. i called another publisher. can i get 10,000 books donated to the u.s. of?
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we had 40,000 books donated. and all tell you, i never, whether because of that or other reasons, they love thrillers. we don't want to send literary fiction, we want thrillers. so when i got there it was amazing how many readers we have there. just really like that fast-paced action adventure. so we have been very blessed to have a lot of military reading the books. >> host: when you write your thrillers you keep the language issues out of there, is that correct. >> guest: i do. i had a woman who wrote to me and said, i love your bucks and i read one of the books, and the language, wanted to give it to my younger son to read. i said, you know what, i can do it without the language. now i get these letters from other authors to say, of these other people are ready to be saying that you should write like brad meltzer because he doesn't need dickerson his book. i tell them to go screw
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themselves and follow my lead. the truth is, we have been very, very fortunate that we can be read by nine urals and teenagers to come and read the book. in fact, when i was in the military this woman came out to me. i have been reading your books as junior high school. i came all this way is it thank you you. you got it backwards. i love the fact that you can read it at any rain jacket and fault with it that way. >> host: if people want to go back in time and read that book was language, which one is that? >> guest: my first one. after that the password off. you know why? i had kids, and i wanted them to read it. i felt like i never even thought about it. i grew up in the house over you said you wanted to and that's how my dad raised us. i realized, i have to have my kids not taking heat from their teachers. you get to tell these stories. to me if i do the white house, i
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can make up whenever i want. their secret tunnels that lead from the white house all the way disney world. you laugh and say, that's not true. but if i tell you there in the ground floor of the white house in uc is tragicomic the left of the statue, and a small room, chairs stacked to the ceiling, that is where they store the cheers for state dinners. but the back of the room and a smell flowers in the air with the white house flower shop is on the left. yes see the eighth track equipment. this ceiling will come down word. when you get to the end that hallway make a right-hand turn in yes yes steel door. behind that is the real secret entrance. that is where the bomb shelter is. that's real. to me i love taking my fiction and i can make up everyone after that. i get to take this real details. the people really appreciate.
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>> host: george it's silly bush and clinton as well. beverly in maryland. >> caller: my question is for brad. i read your article. i read your article on your english teacher and how you went back to her retirement. the most laudable thing i had read it knowledge and have good teachers can be, and i wondered if you stayed in touch with her and to thank you for that wonderful tribute. >> guest: i appreciate that. thank you for reading that. that was in parade magazine. up to you the story. but as you what happens because you won't believe the end of this. and i was in ninth grade my english teacher said to me, you can write.
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i said, everyone can write and she said, no, you know what you're doing. she tried to put me in the honors class. you're going to sit in this quarter for the entire year. ignore everything had to get the blackboard, a real murder sign it. she was saying, you're going to do the honors work but what she was release saying was, you're wrong to thank me later. of his letter went back to my classroom my first bout was published, not on the door, and i said -- she said, can i help you? i said to my name is brad meltzer and a read this book in this for you. she starts crying. i said, are you crying? she said, you know, i didn't think i was having an impact anymore. i was going to retire this year. i said, are you kidding me? your 30 students. we have one teacher. she had no idea for impact. i have this woman. she chain saw life. i it teaches you read me all the time.
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two summers ago my teacher finally to retire. you better believe i was at the retirement party. she lasted a dozen years after i first went to see your. i went to their retirement. it's a very dangerous game because if you go you raised the original memory. what if she's not as inspiring as i thought, not as great as i thought, what she doesn't live up to that hero by. and surprised. she gets up there. a room full of jaded teachers. a retirement party for a public schoolteacher. osseous to do is get up there and say, i like kaffiyeh, i hate the other half, thank you for-glass vase, have a good life. she looks up. for those of you complain it's harder now, harder to teach now, you have all gone soft, all
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complaining too much. do not give up on these kids. to not give up on these kids. she gives a rallying speeches like it was the final scene a brave heart. i almost ripped open my shirt. i'm watching this going, oh, my gosh. this is why she is so inspiring. on the day after retirement to i realized i will forever be her student. if you're watching, i love you. this the one a rather formidable picture. >> guest: yes, at was. >> guest: this was taken, i told that story, and the school board asked me to honor my favorite teacher. i picture. i had to take a picture. the best part of the picture, she looks so stern. we will tell you, that if you were on her bedside you would get hit in the head with an eraser. but she is the sweetest, nicest woman. the best part, and i say this for all the teachers who are really every day euros. we all have that teacher.
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think of the person you give your for start to be so many people said to me, i gave your book to my son or daughter. we have so many teachers who are heroes. such softies, so incredible. one of the nicest in the world. >> host: we are talking with author bret meltzer about heroes for my daughter. we take this call from terry in brooklyn. hi. >> caller: great show. i have a question. he looked into a lot of things that people take for granted. when i was a kid i was raised pretty much a strict catholic. went to catholic school, was an altar boy. a pretty much believe everything they taught me as far as religion and jesus christ, but i was interbreeding and likes to read and started getting into history and discovered that a lot of real history could not reconcile with what was in the bible. the question is, i discovered a series of books that mention, suggest perhaps that there really was no jesus christ. the historical records actually
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start almost two centuries after this character appeared, and it could possibly be something that was -- i mean, an invention, but have you addressed the fact that for 200 years so before there was writing about this, nothing appears, no letters from anybody, no graffiti, no correspondence between ancient peoples about this cheeses character. have you ever looked into this? why is everybody always take for granted that there is a jesus character, let alone the fact that he was a god or some other got? >> guest: i appreciate, sir. i will tell you this. these -- are there some things that are in my room and some that are out? i will tell you, we will look at any theory sometimes that are out there, but whenever you want to say about the bible or religion, it is a very personal decision. when we put this put together i purposely left out of religious figures because i said to my doe wanted to be a battle over
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religion. so much good comes out of religion and so much that can. we all know that. i think it's amazing how much we can agree. i felt like i did not want to put out their something that people could disagree on. no politics. it was never to be about that. it was to be about what we can all agree on. i think there are some things that are unarguable. whether it's picking your english teacher or your mother, those of the safe bets, but picking people like rosa parks, people who we know and see with that historical record, things that i found universally, every politics, religion, we can all agree, and that's why wanted to be about. >> host: that is the last word. here again is the cover up brad melchers most recent nonfiction. his next thriller comes out in january. thank you for joining us here in miami. >> guest: great to see you.
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>> host: well, we have one more panel we want to show you, and they're just being introduced a pinch happen all where we have been carrying all the lives of the panel's. coming up, this is a panel on the christopher hitchens post-mortem book mortality. he wrote this in the last years of his life. on the panel will be his widow. mary for 20, topped five years along with his publisher and his good friends martin amos and robert wilde. this panel is just being introduced, and we will bring this to you live. we will be joined right after the panel, and we are taking social media comments for her. if you have any comments you would like to make about christopher hitchens or any questions, you can do that via e-mail, twitter, and facebook. e-mail book tv at booktv.org.
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twitter, @booktv is our handle. and on facebook, facebook.com/booktv. now, here is the panel beginning on christopher hitchens. >> today we have a full house. of course we want to let conduct this in no way that everybody will be a will to enjoy. at the end of the authors presenting we will have a q&a session. i ask that if you would like to ask a question that you approach the mike in the middle aisle, ask your question and then please if you would just go back to your seat so that we can have high could flow of q&a going and yourself phones, if you please turn them off. any other electronic devices. everyone will be will to enjoy it. let me also recognize the sponsors of miami but care international, the have given of
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themselves and their corporations and money to help make this a community event that enriches all of us here in miami dade county. i know that many of you have come from outside of our community. can i see a show of hands, those who do not live in miami-dade county and are visiting. wonderful. welcome. welcome. welcome. let's give them a round of applause. >> it's great to have you here in this wonderful city. the magic city of miami. welcome to miami but fair international and miami gave college. without further ado i'm going to bring on an individual who will be the introduce our of our authors today. he is any help gonzales.
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also a book critic for the miami "herald," and he wears many, many more hats. >> give afternoon. one of the last pieces christopher hichens completed was a review of a biography. the unapologetic atheist had much in common with the christian apologist. they were both prolifically outspoken, sharp tongue to the who had home libraries and of with irresistibly quotable style. the man who was thursday describe the character. he seemed like a walking destiny, a blend of the angel and the a.
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the same can be said. in his hybrid nature is a series -- seemingly irreconcilable highs and lows the site easy characterization, often to the consternation of his many friends and foes. but alas he is gone. next month marks the first anniversary of his death. today we have assembled a panel to discuss mr. hichens posthumous work k-9, a collection of essays that describes his experience. he would have paid calling it a struggle for battle with stage for esophageal cancer. kelly gold steen was his publisher. reissued three of his infamous creeds. the trials of henry kissinger,
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the missionary position which it exposes the allies. carol bloom is his widow. married for over 20 years. contributed the lovely after word like her husband, she inspired without succumbing to sentiment. most of your recognize. quite frankly to one of the best writers in the world. the latest novel, state of england. and also -- best friend, a brother and all the dna. about the four year long c-span2 said, it was always bright and sunny, always marry, even when it ended on that said december day. please welcome my guess.
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[applause] >> and good afternoon. thank you all for coming. americans are like the u.s. mail , not rain, snow, gloom of night can prevent these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. and i would like to begin with an anecdote about christopher. i put it in a novel. and put it in on the basis of
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one thing he said, sort of incorporating him into the novel because i could not bear to leave this out. the basis, having dinner its only big enough for one person. about to get going. 1975. two young man came into the restaurant and suits with long hair. they were sort of up to the upper classes basically. they began to talk, whisper among some cells and asking the waiter questions. have a big party come to the restaurant.. it went on and on.
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we could not get -- such a distraction. and demand did not work for a living but patiently awaited the debt of elderly relatives. then one of them came up to us. pretty clear when he was going to do, ask us to move tables. he came up and crashed. after a flagitious pause he looked up, putting it through his french. he had had many successes in this way of bending others to his will, the pound, the french. it had all gone like a dream before. he said, you're going to hate us for this. custer said, we hate you already.
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[laughter] they sent over a terrified bottle about half an hour later. i have said and written that the extraordinary thing really is the extent to which she was left , not just by us, but by you and the varied not the essayist, this is quite a distinction. i have often wondered. one must not discount super visual reasons. but is terrific of looks had something to do with it. and the phrase we like, by striking is, perhaps, somewhat
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brittle. photogenic. very memorable. also the perfect voice. which was sort of pops the impression. sense of danger summed up in that sense of story. and also, always seems to be conducting a deep argument with himself. and the result of this was that he made intellectual very dramatic. i don't know why that should be because he did not deal in common sense. that was not his beat. and plenty of people who can do
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common-sense. that wasn't christophers a thing. it was saying something that went against the grain and then having to justify it. which was really debating with christopher have the time. >> i think the empire building cut looks were part of it. and the argument with himself. he was always trying to refine his arguments by arguing with others. that's true. and he was hysterically funny. i don't know how one conveys that. >> i remember the first time in washington while he was collecting. as you might imagine, i was
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extremely anxious about introducing myself. and for all the puppet pugilistic posturing that he is infamous for, he was, in fact, this alarmingly sweet, polite, generous, quick to laugh and never made a young man and publishing feel that he had to impress them in any way. he was much less interested in what somebody new that have they thought. definitely interested in whether not i could make him laugh. and he was just a very palm and appreciative writer. i have been lucky to work with some fantastic people. there is no single writer or person i have worked with in publishing and made the impression on me that christopher did. i can just say, on behalf of 12, this is absolutely the most personal book we ever published.
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an incredibly proud to be affiliated with it. >> mannered. beautiful manners. it was a reminder that in manners begins morality. it's not nothing, manners. it's not a layer. the beginning of actually empathetic feeling. three democratic. he talked to the person you talk to. -- as an equal. but, again, always this -- always the possibility of something. that was very stimulating. >> but it was always deliver it. he was abrasive or argumentative
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or even somewhat cruel in his report lost. he meant to do it. >> yeah, but it was a habit of this to say something made people jolt back. another story that i like very much, i was playing tennis with robert j. lipton, the nazi doctor. join us just as we were finished . and just be me six love. twenty-three and still is 23 years older than me. so he was feeling very pleased with themselves. having been introduced, very vigorous and manley, he said
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quite typically, so few areas of transcendence left open to us in these times. sex, sports, arts. mr. versus d'amato, and don't forget the mysteries of others. [laughter] the language contemplation, this should be a transcendent pleasure. really quite daring. >> also, he just said it in a while @booktv away. he wished everyone well. the least competitive, most generous person really have ever met. i think he would really wallow in the happiness of others. >> we spent quite a bit of time traveling together for the various books that we were able to work on. he spend a lot of time on the
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road with somebody. there is a lot of down time. you begin to talk about your life. christopher was performing. he was working. he understood what his job was and what he was traveling for. and so i didn't think for a second that he had heard a single thing. and then three months later he would bring up the most specific thing that i had said when the -- i didn't think he was listening. people talk about his memory, but it wasn't just the words on the pace -- page. it was for every detail. in specific questions about my life. >> as much as it might seem hard to up believe, that's because he cared. >> he could not get here and airport because every single person would stop to say hello or to ask for an autograph. he would stop but he was doing and let them in the ag, has done about themselves, how they knew who he was.
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>> what do you think you would think of this love fest we are presenting so far? >> any kind of interaction. he came to be quite addicted to it. walking to a cinema. it was our habit. reduced. and i said to him as we were walking, no one has recognized for ten minutes. he said, 15 minutes. [laughter] and i said -- by the way.
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more and more passed off when they don't come up and salute me i can have a chat with them. and he said what they care? what do they feel if they don't recognize? and in the first person, typical. and not always, doesn't always go with perfect mental health. for instance, he said, you're very famous. yes. my big friend. and i said, press. what is it when you leave? by.
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but on this occasion, the stroll to the cinema, we got to the cinema without in being recognized. as we approached, i could tell he was going to say something. are going to be late. hill 110 minutes. but as we can pass some he is said do you love us or do you hate this. meaning america. he was speaking for a self and his wife. he meant americans. and h. slid into the cinema behind the doors, as he was going. he said, depends on how you behave. and a great remark. sort of perfect. he didn't anger. but it suggests a more logical kind of person that he was.
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and i don't think he did judge everything in utilitarian ways. i think he was, you know, the most famous, but he had a definite -- he supported ralph nader in 2000. and bush cheney in 2004. >> barely. i can set the record straight on that. >> but that was his position. >> but also, i mean, if you want to get into it. >> all i'm saying -- >> because of making a different point. >> i am. this sort of -- he goes, and then what he loves, is justifying it, ex post facto. and he, you know, the one on earth wanted to debate him on any of these topics. he could be an absolute
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terrifying speaker, not just perfect sentences, but paragraphs and sequins. but anyway, i'm just saying that he is an odd fish, and he's not, that is what was so stimulating about him. >> we just saw mitchell kaplan. and he remembered in a van we did in miami. 1,000 people. some of you may have actually been there. christopher was not in debate with one person. he was a debate with a rabbi, an evangelical christian, a buddhist nun, dr. islamic in one of the person i can't recall, and each of them made there case and christopher would get up and offers a bottle. the doctor of is lock happened to be in a wheelchair. in so he finished systematically
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taking down each of his opponents to the to the crowd and said, surely you must be thinking he can't go after the woman in the wheelchair, but i assure you, you're wrong. >> is been pointed out that he should have had, he would probably live longer if he had the constitution. although about his untimely death i'll say that he died at the age of about 75. he never went to sleep. so the third longest hours. >> the choose me up a bit. except you think, well, what if he had kept barely sleeping and lived to 90. >> i know. he would metaphorically drink you under the table.
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and then will use staggered off and smashed her head open on the bathroom floor and got into bed covered in blood and thinking how many days this hangover with last committee would come down having written a 5,000 word peace. and you had to think that he was, it in fact a different species it was not human, what he could do after that kind punishment. >> there is a lot of myth making and legend making with certain kinds of writers, like christopher. the problem is that everything you hear is only half as fast and as good as you wise. it was really something. it was literally of 5,000 words story on deadlines at for the morning turned in a seven
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commanded did not like people to know that. when he used to send by facts, he used to write the piece and then come back and join the company after dinner and his leader on the facts machine and send it the next morning. he did not want them to know. but the time it took between when they called and assigned it and when he had written it was usually about 30 minutes. >> read people. and is being -- some amateur psychologist that they had pressure on the cortex, these people. eloquences pressing down on them they have to sort of release it as an underground will release a
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splash of water. they cannot do it. he wrote a hundred bucks in his life. and you just have to out and hold their code. you can't compete. >> also surprisingly, when he would deliver a manuscript, his essays as well, various publications, sort of objective about it. he would turn in his piece and might be one are two things he would aggressively fight for, but would turn it over and let you do -- you know, there was nothing to do. >> there was nothing to do, but they say we need to cut a thousand words for ads are perfume or whenever it might be. he would say okay and find a thousand words and get rid of them. completely open to suggestion. anticipated values work, but
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that was part of the craft and the work. >> you and i have spoken before. there was this time were you and christopher, these pieces were being collected for the past and her 12 years. .. he would write about starless
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for them at the last minute and he would write a long essay on philip larkin or the chesterton dimension which he wrote in the icu of the m.d. anderson hospital center. an extraordinary range and there could be peachy woodhouse or james bond. or hagel or marks. >> we should not be morbid but we should talk about his courage and the fact that his good manners, his sincere good manners -- you would be sitting at his bedside and -- in the hospital district of houston and people would come in every half an hour and try to get them to do something novel and he never lost it.
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it stays with me that he was physically very brave and a physically very brave man and we would often be in desperately menacing park in london and there would be some muttering and then a confrontation with five very useful looking young men of no great education and i would be saying come on you know and he would never take a step back. and we arrived one evening and e. and tells the story. christopher said no, he said a man roughing up a woman at the end of the square and he is going to deal with that.
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>> there was a woman being roughed up in front of our apartment and he ran down and ran out and saved her. he wasn't doing it to show off or to prove he was a hero. he was actually trying to help the poor woman. >> carol at that same courage that allowed christopher to write so candidly about his own ordeal over those 18 months and you have spoken and maybe you want to speak a little bit now about sort of what relationship his work as a foreign correspondent had. >> i was thinking about it, you know. there are two aspects of it. one he went to many many dangerous zones over the course of his journalistic career and had a number of near misses. notably there was the time he was in afghanistan and he had his white suit and a bag of
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books and decided to go to a city outside of kabul and suddenly realized he was standing in the square. he was in the middle of a fight between two warlords and bullets were flying and bombs were exploding and no one was on the street. and he had a little card that he had been given by the american embassy and he called that number, somewhere -- someone from the military came and rescued him. there was another time where he almost lost his life driving route 66 for "vanity fair" and a red corvette and they gave him a phone for that because he was terrified on the roads in america by himself. his tire blew out and that was the closest he came to dying but i can literally give you 50 stories of, from the romanian revolution to when he was in an event called zaire where he was in war zones and tricky situations and almost lost his life. and then he also covered areas
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of the world where few people had been. north korea. many people had been in iran but the time he went to tehran it was off-limits in the places he went and so on. what i realized is, he had been this foreign correspondent who travel to places not many people went and came back, and he was able to bring a very unique perspective and bring his, his writing, his humor, his take on these faraway lands. and then, when he became ill, he basically traveled to this land of melody as he put it almost is if you are a foreign correspondent, reporting like a foreign correspondent on this new land he had arrived in. and they'll be coming very very and having a potentially terminal disease or even having
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cancer as commonplace, the land he traveled to as a foreign correspondent that he became in covering, and i think it makes it a very unique perspective on this illness. >> and, he always had his wit and sometimes needed it to get out of, his brilliance to get out of difficult situations. a couple of months after september 11 he was in afghanistan, peshawar i think and he saw bin laden t-shirts on display and he wanted to buy some for his friend, so he bought half a dozen and then as he was doing this transaction, 500 furious young zealots but also the element of all of this very frustrated young men, came
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pouring out of the mosque and surrounded him. he said it was a foul atmosphere and it was sort of fanatical arousal and one of them pointed to osama bin laden, his village on a t-shirt and he said, what do you think? do you like osama bin laden? he said well i quite like him. [laughter] and christopher said, he said osama bin laden is my brother. and they said, he is your brother? and christopher said all men are my brothers. now if you'll you will excuse me, please. [laughter] just right. >> in writing about his illness, what is striking about mortality, many people have
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written about illness and death and dying, but there is something, there is nothing in the book and there are no false notes and i think the responses i've heard from the people who read this book was one of great sort of, was very affirming and it's a very positive book and is that a book as it is i think the odyssey in it is sort of inspiring to people. what is fascinating to me also when i look at your take on this, is how the writing changes over the course of the book. in the beginning he has the sort of objective look at what is happening and it's clinical in some ways and he's reporting on his illness and as his illness advances in the book moves on, and as his body begins to deteriorate, and he has limitations he begins to write in a way i haven't seen quite as
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much but it became very visceral and very physical writing because he was limited by phlegm and things like this. it's really stunning to watch this happen over the course of the book and he is so clear-eyed about it. >> i think when he was writing it, because you know this book doesn't have a logical and. he was going to write a different book with a different ending. he always thought this was just another interregnum on the road to at least a long remission if not a cure. and the other thing is, i think you are right about how kind of cicero and physical his descriptions become. but you know martin, even though he might have been sitting in a hospital bed or the nurses were coming in, he was still keeping up his side of the conversation. he was still the life of the party, the cherry on top, really. and sort of the great hostess to
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all the visitors who came through. and it was a place he wanted to be because that is where he was. he would rather be in that hospital room with christopher and you'd be having as good and interesting and profound a time as you might anywhere else on this planet. better to be there with him then say at a bar at the bel air hotel. do you think? i am not kind of revisiting that? >> no. one of his favorite, just time filling kind of tags was, what could be more agreeable? and who could be more agreeable. the best company on earth but i don't know if i'd set it to you carol but i've certainly said it before, that one thing that happens, i always thought his love for life was superior to
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mine and i respected it. but when he died, and i hope this is universal, when a loved friend dies, it seems to me that they bequeath you their love of life and certainly for many months after his death, the world looked sort of tingly, no doubt a survivor of hallucinate -- elucidation and guilt that you have a solemn sacred duty to love life with the intensity that they did because they can no longer do it. >> yeah, definitely. i see no need for mortality is one of my arguments. you had told me that and i had that experience and they i also had the kind of retrospective regret that i hadn't been even more life loving even though i'm pretty keen on life. but you think you owe it to them that i don't think we will ever
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measure up, which is not a condemnation of our ability to live life to it's fullest and love it. it's just the fact that he was just so extraordinarily good at it. >> could we have some time for questions? >> sure. do you have a question or two? >> no, i want to open up to these people. if you have a question please go to the mic. go ahead. >> yes, i was always quite grateful to him for going after -- like you did. but his need to be contrary, to be the bad boy seemed to me to have overridden his good sense. did he ever have regret for teaming up with the bully boy? >> i was --
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he never was contrary just so that he could continue this image that you suggest is a bad boy actually. he was at the oxford union and he would argue one side but he could as easily have argued the other side. he was trained that way. that is the way his mind worked. the dialectic is what mattered to him. the positions he took even though few don't occur with them, they seem to depart from a certain kind of left liberal position. in fact it took them because he believed them. he meant them, and he thought, and i agree with him in this, but it doesn't matter what i think, they were consistent. that is, say what you might about iraq. he saw that as a liberation movement. he was an internationalist. he believed in bringing democracy to the world and he thought the u.s. had been involved in iran and iraq and the in the most heinous and criminal ways from the 1953
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overthrow although i don't have to give you the whole history in here. now there was an attempt to overthrow a terrible despot and liberate the country and bring a democratic movement. it may not have been executed well. it may have failed. you may not agree with it but you really believed and that is why he supported it, it was not so that he could be contrary or to realign himself in a way that he would be perceived as you know, unpredictable. so i don't think he ever tried to cultivate the bad boy image and i don't think he was a bad boy. >> i will say that he did have a flair for showmanship and it wasn't lost on him with his reputation. >> he did say, the thought of preventive war is -- the thought of preemptive war is a --
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oh yeah, i didn't remember that one. but as for kissinger, i don't think he is done with him because they reissued his book, the trial of henry kissinger and it's more relevant now than it ever has been a think because the official biography of kissinger is about to come out by noel ferguson. i noticed the other day kissinger with stern to harvard where i guess the students have been all that thrilled to have them for some time. and ferguson wrote a piece in which he said it was so wonderful that students welcomed kissinger back. they applauded him. they didn't have them off the campus. this in the 60's didn't happen. it's so wonderful. keep an eye on of friedel book and trying get ahold of it if you haven't read the trial of henry kissinger by christopher hitchens which is a rebuttal to the authorized biography. >> hi.
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i was wondering for each of you if you could, if you could pick out a common threat throughout his body of work, he very much -- my impression is that he very much tried to be genuine and to be accurate about the human condition and what do you think would be the common threat? >> we were asked this by charlie rhodes and i thought he was basically a street fighting -- and i think he was sort of lefty passion that led him to endorse iraq and the idea of liberating and he had a special passion and feeling for the kurds who had been true beneficiaries of the invasion. i have always thought he had
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sort of an impulsiveness in his thinking that made him that sometimes in his life susceptible to ideology and i always think that your ideology should be no theology. until 1989 the collapse of the soviet union i thought that hitch was very constrained in his writing because he said to me, what is true you do get tired of racing -- to trotsky so he was susceptible to that. but basically the passion of a teenage boy with freedom and justice in that sort of street fighting way in the heat that he would generate in his talk. when i went to the occupy
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protest in tampa, during the republican national convention, i thought this is so tame. i thought, where's hitchens in this movement? where is that fire that heat at such a time in american politics where democracy is being attacked by money and lies and voter suppression. it just wasn't there, the american youth. i remembered the sort of passion that hitch would get going when he felt justice was threatened, and that just wasn't there. >> i think also many people believed of all his talents, his oratory talents were perhaps his finest and he had been referred to as perhaps the greatest orator of our generation. i don't know who among you saw him speak, but he would love to have a room like this and he
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could probably get you to follow him anywhere. >> can i ask a question? what you think you never tried to write fiction? >> i often talk to my novelist friends all of whom were riveted by -- and he certainly had, he had the phrase making ability. he could dream himself into another person and he had you know many of the prerequisites, but he said i think he just didn't want to spend his time doing what we do, which is making up and imagining things. making of people and telling these artful lies, which is what what -- he was too straight for that. >> i would also say you can see the gift that would naturally
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lend itself towards narrative writing and in the first three chapters of his 22 in particular where he writes about his family history standing alongside the finest autobiography i have read anywhere. >> also we work -- we wrote a couple of scripts together and he didn't like doing that all that much. but he was very inventive and his dialogue was extraordinary. i think you're right, i think ultimately he lived a long time and he wanted to write about priest and who knows what else and he certainly was more interested in literary examination that just polemic sound politics. who knows if he would have gotten around to it but i don't think he wanted to spend that much time in happening and imaginary universe. >> and fiction makes nothing happen. it was always a possibility that what he wrote, his rhetoric, his oratorical brilliance would bring about change.
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a novel, something that has gone badly wrong in a novel sort of interferes with real life. "the satanic verses" is a categorical error when politics latches on. >> i want to pick up one quick thing on the issue of the common thread that will run through the work. this idea that liberty was run straight through but it wasn't only just for liberal causes because he would have course defend people who had opinions widely opposed to his own, their right to profess an opinion. >> he love the bill of rights and that is why he became an american citizen. >> good afternoon. i am a local resident and i was -- at the temple israel debate. i am an attorney but i have never ever seen such blazing
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rhetorical skills. i just couldn't believe what i was hearing, especially when he talked about the wheelchair. on the other hand, i did see him on television one day and he was plainly less than sober. he was really two sheets to the wind. >> i never notice that. [laughter] >> in i couldn't believe that he was able to maintain his train of thought. i certainly couldn't have. i just can't get no -- so i was just reading, this is just a comment. i was just starting to read his biography that just came out, the third volume of the church trilogy, think his name is paul reid and the first chapter deals with churchill plainly drunk
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most of the time he was working. he just kept drinking and drinking and working in dictating. it seemed to me that is what christopher did with quite a lot of frequency. i just wondered if you wanted to confirm or deny that. >> i would deny it because he was almost never drunk. sometimes at 3:00 in the morning but almost never. recalibrated and he had it free lunch drink and some wine with lunch. he basically had a whole system for how much he would have. mine was quite -- he was quite sober when he was writing. >> i know, i think it was after one of his more controversial decisions which is to oust sid blumenthal and i rang him up.
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he was getting a lot of pain for that and i rang him up and i said, how are you? he said i'm living in a world of pain he said. he believed it was right and he defended it. but again, this is part of his greatest fear i think, not being drunk. i saw him drunk, in 40 years i saw him drunk twice. i was drunk a lot of the time and i had been drunk several hundred times but he was never drunk. >> i have probably noticed two or three times that night in 25 years. >> i don't want to comment about these rhetorical skills, he is very churchillian. >> i think better than that. see what is your relationship to this person? >> i am and thought he had many things in common with churchill
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including courage. i inverted that nabokov in thing. i will write like a distinguished man of letters and i talk like a child and hitchens is the other way round. he talks like a genius, writes like a distinguished -- and thinks like a child. they often said of churchill that he thought like a child and his mind was around all over the place. he had rhetorical skills in the courage. >> i really do miss him. he was one of my heroes. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you to our authors and the autographing area is to the right of the elevators as you leave this room. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> you are watching booktv's live coverage of the miami book fair international. you were just watching carol blue, cary goldstein and martin amis talking about their erstwhile colleague, friend and husband, christopher hitchens and we are here to chat -- at chapman hall and carol blue is working her way back to our corner here at chapman hall where she is answering some of
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the facebook and twitter comments that we have received for her. we have got a few minutes. if you do have a chance anyone to make a comment following this panel, go ahead and tweet it to us at, at booktv are posted on facebook.com/booktv. we will try to get to those. we have several they want to ask her already but if you have one we will try to take a minute and get that comment looked at and answered as well. a lot of moving parts here so it's a little difficult to check social media sometimes while in the middle of an interview. go ahead and give it a try and we will try to get to it. a reminder that we will be live all day again tomorrow here at miami and you can check that full schedule at booktv.org. the full schedule for tomorrow. and everything you have seen today by the way will be re-aired at midnight tonight.
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we will be back on the air at midnight. we are very pleased now to be joined here on booktv by carol blue, who is now joining us to answer a couple of your comments. we will put you right there, ms. blue. we appreciate it. [laughter] and just talk to me and that's great. we really appreciate your time. >> glad to be here. >> i want to begin with some facebook, that we initiated and this is -- this is about you and christopher and this and that. we are going to begin with lives and go and she said i wish carol would tell how they met, their first date, something charming and romantic. when did she know her life had changed? >> shortly after meeting him but i can't tell the story because each time i have tried to tell it, which is just a few times,
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it holds less punch in meaning for me so i hope you will excuse me if i keep it to myself. .. >> maybe not -- you may not have known the extent of his influence and reach, but he did often run into, especially on college campuses, he would run into so many students who would mention that he had changed their life because of his
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writing. i know that he really did have that affect and continues to. i still hear from so many young people on different campuses that he has really changed the way that they thought. >> december, a full year that christopher as been gone. overall, what has this last year been like for you? >> well, it's very quiet, very silent, as you can imagine. i can't think what else to say. i understand why you ask it, but i think and need to get a little more distance on that before i can reveal that publicly. >> in the after words to mortality you wrote about finding scraps of paper all around the apartment and notes and books. what is that like to find those?
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do you have another potential book planned with all of those notes? >> people have talked about the various letters that were written to and from him, the notes, various ridings. i don't know. eventually we will get around to that. i can just tell you, i think two-thirds or three-quarters of the books on the shelf have his riding in the back of them, and it is always wonderful to pull a look of the shelf and see his writing as if he is speaking again it is really fantastic. i found tons and tons of stacks of paper with nets and had not seen before. clearing the papers and books away from the windows. >> did you also write this temecula mentioned that toward the end of his life , is just sentences or a short paragraph
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words that christopher was writing. >> actually, he was completely with it until the last day of his life. could have written a story for a magazine. it just happens that he was riding on hospital tray and typing instead of writing longhand because his arm was swollen from various ivies. those notes in the back, the kind of fragmentary writing, the nancy was typing that particular day in a hospital. >> one of the tweets we received comes from the norwalk conn. library. they say, thank you for writing. you offer a new perspective. what was your goal? >> well, the day i was asked to do it was not keen to. i wanted to. it was the right thing to do. i was asked to reveal some side of christopher, perhaps, that he had not revealed but himself.
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but i wanted to maintain the privacy of our family, protect our children's privacy. trying to figure out how i could give something intimate of myself or about christopher that would also basically keep us out of the public realm. i think i achieved that. so that's what i was trying to do. >> why were you not eager to write it? >> toussaint. i wasn't really ready to contemplate him in that way for public consumption. in the end i tried not to, and agonized. a couple of hours. it was christopher writing it. >> let me go back to the comments. another one that we wanted to ask you about. this comes from sharon. i would never miss a chance to see a debate or an interview. i agreed with him only about 50 percent of the time. >> as the ultimate compliment.
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do you get that a lot? >> people admired his craft and technique and billion oratories some. >> and sharing goes on to say, the world lost a great mind with his passing. here are some twitter comments, and i apologize for stepping away and leaving our guest, carol blue. the loan by herself for a minute. if i can give you to stand right there so the camera can see. this is steven on twitter. you address this a little bit, but if you could expand, why did hichens move to the u.s.? advance his career or did he feel a sense of mission toward spreading his ideas? >> initially -- he always had been -- he writes about how he had been drawn in by american. he came right after oxford and was awarded a special scholarship that allowed him to travel around america.
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one from the east coast all the way to the west coast and back to the south. he felt a deep affinity, perhaps because of the founders riding because of pain and jefferson, how big and various it was. he felt this visceral subconscious poll, but he came because victor proposed a swap between himself and an american writer. so that wind and came. and once having arrived, he never wanted to leave. he ultimately did. >> he writes about his naturalization. >> i saw him steady. i was at the ceremony. very small ceremony at the jefferson memorial conducted on april 13th and christophers birthday, which also happens to
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have been jefferson's birth date kind of marvelous. but i gave him my constitutional law but from my berkeley days. he studied the constitution and really glamorized it, and that was fine. >> where did you grow up? to mention berkeley. where did you go to school? >> i grew up where stanford, california is. went to berkeley to get away from stanford. a state political theory. now was hired by a man i was working for as an assistant well was a student. the rest is history. >> of want to give him this comment. what influence to you think mr. hichens writing hand along with shaping women's history?
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>> i am not sure i know that he was the most egalitarian, seriously. he was absolutely -- he thought of women and men as complete equals. he wrote that piece for vanity fair. you know, it was one more assignment command eroded. if you actually read it does not -- the article does not say what the title might imply. yes. he was so nonsexist for a guy who was such a man's man in so loved by women. very charismatic. women adored him. he did not play the sexual cardinal. i don't know if he has a place in women's history perce, but just in the liberation of all groups. he would definitely have thought that the better law made sense.
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he would never think a woman should make less than a man. think maybe there is just -- that's it. i have nothing to say more. >> just a couple more. we will let you go. i loved christopher so much. i always wanted to call him up on the phone. at the end did he say any prayers or call a priest? >> no. it did not even come up. we were talking about poetry and various other things. nobody thought of that. it didn't even register. and i want to say, i was thinking, the great supporter. a great town. i mean, i talked -- he really talked about women's rights as it pertained to the mideast and africa and various backward religious practices that treat women as lesser citizens.
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>> carol blue, she has written the afterwards they're husbands book, mortality. here is the book. finally, when was this picture taken? >> that was just a few months before he died. not that thrilled. he looks so said. but he still looks really handsome. >> thank you for joining us here. we appreciate it. >> had been at this for hours. i think as sounded like it teenybopper jerk. thanks for having me. >> book tv now for the last 20 minutes talking to you. her first question is, was that live? well, we appreciate your time very much. >> thanks for having me. >> was a pleasure to meet. well, unscripted, as you can see right there. we are here in chapman
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auditorium. one more of it in here today. that is bill o'reilly. he has prohibited book tv from being in the room. we want to let you know, we will be live again tomorrow. here very quickly is a look at tomorrow's schedule. james patterson beginning at noon. he will be here. one of the top-selling authors in all of the united states. he will be here. he will be talking specifically about a reading program that he started. we will bring you james patterson. following that, a panel with the three authors, david maraniss, michael grunwald, and neil brodsky. the first half of his two volume
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biography came out in june. he will be here. the new deal is the name of his book, the hidden story of change in the obama era. finally, an inside account of how washington abandoned main street while rescuing longstreet. now, those three will be on the panel together. just to let you know, later on in the day he will be doing a calling with us from our book tv said. and david maraniss will be doing a facebook chat with us. by the way, that is posted on our facebook page right now. you can go. if you have a comment or question, you can go ahead and post that. tomorrow afternoon he will respond to those comments. it is a memoir. a long walk, story of war and the life that follows. those three will be on a memoir
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panel. and we have neil later for colin , followed by colin with a woman named representative. she has written her memoir about growing a platina in los angeles . she will be joining us on book tv as well. then another call-in. a "washington post" reporter, also written this biography. so that will all be on our program tomorrow, live from the miami book fair. that is what we have. we appreciate you watching as and will see you tomorrow. >> the author of how to be black . howdy be black?
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>> it helps so much to be born black. at think that's the most reliable way of actually being black. this book does not convert you. it is not an advanced genetic modification program. more of a mental intellectual exercise in identity. so -- >> one example of being black. >> the story is mostly a memoir. i grew up during the crack wars, the crackhead mayor, columbia heights before we get a metro station. that journey, very political black power family, the legacy of my ancestors through the crack wars, that is the backbone of the book. there are these lessons i learned along the way, how to speak for all black people which we are often asked to represent everybody we sort of kind of maybe look like. have to be the next black
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president. this book contains those lessons plus interviews with some black experts identified, primarily people who have been by their entire lives as well who really know what they're talking about. >> when you graduate from college and your mother said, we did it, is that an example of being black? >> that was an example of being proud and broadly generous for what we meant. and she said that i think she was talking about about our effort, a very tiny family to me, her, while the sister, but the people that came before us and the stage that was set to allow someone who is born into slavery to then graduate from a place like harvard university. comedy and satire. i were to the onion for years mocking the very government society that played my ancestors. a huge arc of progress and opportunity within that. she went all of those things. >> you mentioned your work at the onion. what is your day job now?
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>> i don't have a day job now. i left to start a company called cultivated risk. we do projects that combined humor and technology to sell better stories, make the world less horrible. so day job permanent job, and between sleep job. it's all i think about. i want to be one of those makers, not one of the stickers >> how has having a black president affected your work? >> well, it gives me one other job that is accessible now, which is great. you can add that to the list of the ag and athletes and sassy black woman, also president. that is pretty cool. expanded the range. it is a fun and proud image. it also created some challenges. president obama as a symbol of massive racial progress is often overstated. so it makes the argument more complicated. our work here is finished as america in the great racial project of equal opportunity.
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it really isn't, and so having a black president is a shortcut to avoid the difficult conversations and work that we still have to do as a nation. great progress has been achieved, but there is still so much more to go. obama is at challenging figure. he makes us to more than we really have. >> how to be black is the name of the book. book tv on c-span2. >> my name is chris cannon -- >> tell us what you think about our programming. you can tweet us, @booktv. comment on our -- >> of tell you how it will go. i will do a quick control about who we are and what we're doing and why we are here. down from vancouver. brian is going to give us his speech and tell you what we are all about. i will read a quote chapter and we will do a q&a. after that you can make a bunch of noise and buy a simbirsk. we are from vancouver. about a year ago we started realizing we wanted to get into
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political humor. we have both done several years a short film, comedy, journalism , all kinds of stuff, but we have televisions in canada, so we were catching the breeze from what was coming of town here while watching the -- well, recently the conventions. the past two years everyone announcing there candidacies for the presidency of the united states. so we have seen your candid it's. frankly, this get a share of this. we thought, well, canada would make a good candidate for president. we are running canada to be the president of the united states. not bryant, not the canadian government, the canadian people because we love america. we love our big brother. we want to help. so we did a campaign video in january. it went viral. about half million views. we got a lot of media, radio, tv the canadian cnn, a lot of acronyms. so we took off.
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we didn't have a couple of videos. rebuild a steady stream of followers. they liked our message. three weeks later we had a book deal, and this is what we wrote, american but better, the canada party manifesto. intervention from your continental bff. out turn it over to brian. he will tell us what we are all about. he's the beautiful face of canada, representing 30 millions people up in the north who want to see return to the great country that you used to be and will be in the future. [applause] >> thank you. i can't even get that done in canada. that's amazing. it was exactly 200 years ago that an adolescent america came north to pick a fight. naturally canada apologized for being invaded, and we have been caught no partners ever since. now, america, you went on,
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straw, popular, readily get looking. but you were the country that everyone aspired to be. lately you stop playing with the team. you put on a few pounds to missouri hassling women and beating of the gays. he became a bully that other countries fear battelle respect. and actually, canada, a few years heard jr., we get dragged down with you. so 200 years later this paper thin border of ours does littleton muffle the sound of your political language, so we are doing the only thing that we feel we can. we want you to be -- to elect us next president. now, it's not like we don't have our own faults. our prime mastered makes dick cheney look like a human rights crusader. national oil program so apocalyptic it was given a special sense credit in the book of revelations, which is why was
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we become your president we will turn around and theirself. a little regime change we can call our own, you can say. well, you're probably asking yourself, why would these guys be qualified? why is canada qualified to lead america? well, not only is it colder in canada, but because of the freedom and neighborliness it's a bit fresher. because we are america jr., the little brother who has idolize use as we were both baby colonies spitting up in britain's up. i mean, we have grown up together. reconquer frontier together, laugh, cry, bled, overeaten at thanksgiving. together we created some of the weakest pearson's second and known universe. now, what we really want is to offer america a chance to take back for a while. but this could your meals and fluff your pillows and do some healing and generally reevaluate your place in the universe. you have to understand, we still love you. we are family.
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this is not an invasion, it's an intervention. now, we are aware that american laws state that all your candid it's tough to be u.s.-born, but sets in canada we respect the rights the same content partners, we are legally obligated to consider ourselves u.s. citizens by proxy. we publish this manifesto. pass me the manifesto, please. [laughter] the highest bidder. we published this to basically present americans with our idea for america, which is the same america, just better. now, once elected we will immediately tackle the big issues in this country. for example, sex education in school will require -- where required to acknowledged the sex scandals, there will have to play themselves in a made-for-tv
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movie. now, to address america's over expanding waistline we will require fast food be tied to the product sells, extremely excited to unveil. going to be big with the kids. well regarding traditional marriage, one gay couples to be allowed to marry for each stray couple of his divorced. congratulations dallas vegas, you're about to be the case city in america. and to finally bring transparency back to political process, like drugs and cigarettes, hd piece of legislation must clearly state the possible side effects and must be titled, to reflect its actual content. thus the picture that will be renamed fescue thomas jefferson. we don't stop there. our manifesto will enlighten the american people with chapters entitled the elitist scourge, how to a people who are better than you. the metric system, exactly ten times more often than imperial
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units. we peeled off the layers of america. american exceptional wasn't about to make other countries feel bad about the bodies. we present practical solutions and how to relieve america's sexual tension. crime and punishment, and then come again. we even created simple multiple choice questionnaires for healthy american children determine the value as future americans. and to reinvigorate the youth vote, many of which are right here, we have invented a drinking game in the chapter rock the vote, campaign reform for idiots. now, i know most of you are saying right now or at least thinking to yourself, you, you've communist coffee lover. [laughter] i should tell you, we are running this open, that is not nearly as offensive to comedians as you think. [laughter] but i assure you, we only want to raise america up. we don't want to pare it down.
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we believe deserve an honest president. so banks america. you look fat in those pants. now, jobs is a big issue in this election, but we are going to change the ferries job creators to job creation this and give them seven days to actually create something. we will close guantanamo bay and move the prisoners to the arctic where they can be legally snowboard. appropriations, if they can't provide a birth certificate there will be legally obligated to care for your lawn. imprison you for smoking the green. we want to legalize it, texas, use that money to invest in stocks and cheetahs in the news that might to buy back american from china. america, it's probably very clear right now that short shortest path to true democracy is still number. so when you go into that polling station this year, don't just
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check the box for us charming millionaire, consider a country you truly deserved, canada. together we can make a new america, but better. thank you. [applause] >> awesome. a handsome man. the average canadian. some kind of computerphobe think and just average of the canadians together and this is the guy we got. harry women in canada. all right. i'm going to read a short section. the irony of being ironic in a post a right to age. this is about the citizens united decision. to have to explain? okay. it. it's about putting your politicians on and start buying them out right at the bed bath and beyond integrity.
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a quick fact. before i get going, thank-you, c-span, for coming in uncovering this. you guys are awesome. more programming like this, a little less council on foreign relations posted. of going to read citizens divided. people are now corporations. before i get started to my. >> fact, every chapter has a can of fact. and from this, exxon and walmart , exxon and walmart are now the largest people in the united states. but the average american is catching up. all right. citizens divided, people and operations. there has been much to do about the citizens united decision by the u.s. supreme court summarized by the line you might expect to find in a dystopia -- dystopian charlton heston fell, corporations are people. a complicated legal decision, but essentially it allows businesses to stop putting
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politicians on layaway at the congressman a list work and start purchasing them out right at the bed bath and beyond integrity around the corner. the unforeseen side effect is turning more than 30 million businesses and to people overnight is that there is a sudden 10% increase in the u.s. population, already reeling from high unemployment and scarce resources. who will care for these in humans? small-business is now have the legal protection enjoyed. can abercrombie and finch legally with? who will defend targets from the will -- nra? c'mon. as such challenges cannot be met we have no choice but to reduce the actual number of by requiring a portion of them to be corporations. we have already begun a test program to help mrs. anderson transition her economically
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infeasible loving household into a streamlined model of genetic efficiency. this is a memo to the members of the anderson family from mom. subject cutbacks. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> here is a look at books being published this week. a former prominent labor movement activist recounts her experiences organizing workers and discusses how the labor movement can be revived in raising expectations and raising hell. my decade fighting for the labor movement. in the last refuge, america's war in arabia, gregory johnson, the near east studies scholar at princeton university details the rise, fall, and resurrection. scholars to explain how the united states tax system works in taxes in america, but everyone needs to know.
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in tap dancing to work, warren buffett on practically everything, 1966-2012, carol loomis, editor at large at fortune magazine presents a collection of articles by and about warren buffett over the past five decades. look for these titles in bookstores this coming week and watch for the authors in the near future on book tv in on booktv.org. >> tell us what you think about our programming this weekend? you can tweet us @booktv. comment on our facebook wallace and as an e-mail. book tv, nonfiction books every weekend on c-span2. >> now on book tv, chris wallace details what he considers to be notable lack of presidential courage in his book character. the author highlights george washington and the whiskey rebellion, theodore roosevelt and the rest of japanese war,
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harry truman and the berlin airlift and george w. bush and the war in iraq. this is not an hour. >> why did you name your book >> bec character? >> because that is what it is ai about. i think their is a point to thek book. the point to the book is that ae lot of what we understand about the presidency, i think, is lotf wrong. ..the presidency is an exercisen intellect or exercise in ideology. i covered ronald reagan for six years. and if you want to discuss it some more, i can tell what you i learned in those six years of covering the presidency. it with a lot different than than what i thought it was going to be. it became clear to me that to a large degree, it is a test of the president's will and purpose. to believe in a few big things, to stand steady against the swirl of political controversy,
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opinion, nowadays, that's certainly not true for the presidents in this book. polls, advice from counselors, all kinds of things that would drive a president away from his core convictions to not necessarily do what he believed in or what he really believed to be best for the country. this is a book about character, about 16 presidents from george washington to george w. bush who all in a moment of national crisis did what they in their hearts believe was the right thing for the country, who showed character. not necessarily what turned out to be right. think there's some decisions they made that i don't know i agree with. and you can certainly argue about them. but that they were not the popular thing. they were the brave thing. and that's what this is. character profiles and presidential curve. >> how long ago did you get the idea? >> about a year and a half ago. it was collaborative effort.
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my fellow agent, bill adler came up, called me up and said have you ever thought of writing a book? i said, yeah, but i never had an idea. he had some ideas and we sort of put the idea together and we went to a publisher, rugged land. a small publishing house with a relationship with random house. and also, talked to richard newstat, great presidential historian. it is a funny quick story there. i was a kid going to a private school in new york back in the 1950's. and there was a kid in my class named rick newstat. he told me one day his dad was a professor at columbia university and they had champagne for dinner the previous friday night. and that seemed quite glamorous to me. just finished a book called "presidential power" which became a very famous textbook, the definitive book about the
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power of the presidency. so i got in touch with proper 23essor newstat, retired. it was shortly before his death. and talked over the idea with him. i guess the basic idea was by this point in a campaign as we get closer to election day, people are fed up with the candidates, they are fed up with the negative attacks. oftentimes -- i can remember as a kid, sitting around with my parents during the first kennedy-nixon debate and saying i can't believe this is the choice we've got. these are the two guys running for president. that's been true every single four years. i'm sure you experienced that, too. people say i can believe these are the two best people america has to offer. and so i thought let's write a feel-good book. let's write about presidents who don't do the poll-driven thing, don't do the popular thing. that don't do what sometimes seems kraven but stand up and do what's in their core conviction, what they believe is right for
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america. >> just a quick thing. rick met an untimely death. his son -- >> yes. >> carter administration. what happened? >> he was in -- we had lost touch with each other. i certainly was aware of this incident. he was in a whitewater rafting trip and his raft -- i have been fortunate enough to do it and fortunate to walk away from it. but his raft flipped over and he got caught underneath it and drowned. >> do you remember how many years ago that was? >> i would think at least 10. >> so -- 16 presidents. that leaves out 42 men that have been president. leaves out a bunch. no eisenhower, no john adams, no james polk. how did you pick the 16th? >> well, it -- you know, somewhat arbitrary and you could make cases for some of them. in the case of john adams, my feeling was he had been well covered recently. and one of the things that intrigued me about the book was to find people who don't get a lot of publicity, who aren't
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well known. i mean, george washington is in here, abraham lincoln is in here. one of my favorites is grover cleveland. i love the grover cleveland story. can i talk about it briefly? >> sure. >> grover cleveland, 1894, he was a tremendous friend of labor. he had been a reform mayor in new york state, buffalo. he had become the governor of new york. then elected president. he was the president who helped create the federal arbitration system. he was also the president who legalized labor unions. and on his watch in 1894, there had been this big international exposition in chicago. and it was right around the time when there was a strike, a real road workers strike that started in poleman, chicago. george poleman was the fellow who developed and built the pullman railroad cars, the very
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great luxury railroad cars that you could sleep in. i was fortunate enough as a kid, remember sleeping in a pullman on the 20th century limited going between chicago and new york. you know, they were the height of luxury. and he created a town outside -- just outside chicago which he called modestly enough pullman. and it created a kind of -- a classic company town where people had to -- it was quite nice. quite nice housing. people had to live in the housing, people had to shop at the pullman stores. and there was a -- considerable economic downturn in the late 1890's. he started cutting back the salaries of the pullman workers. he didn't cutback the rent or the cost of food. that all these people -- as a result, when they detugged all of that before they would give people the paycheck, these guys sometimes ended up owing money. if they got any money it was pennies. and so they decided they would strike. and it happened in the context
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of lots of people coming to chicago for the international exposition and it became riots. and tremendous civil disorder. and they counted the labor people on their friend in the white house staying out or if anything, caving in to their demands. grover cleveland. cleveland, who was a huge friend of labor, felt that the nation's security was in jeopardy. and he really went against the constitution because at the time , there was -- presidents were not allowed to send troops into a state unless the governor asked for the troops and the governor of illinois didn't want them because he was a -- he favored labor. and so cleveland went against the law, went against -- except in federal troops and restored order. the labor, you know, union
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types, all of the organizers fell that he had betrayed his back ground, his history, certainly the popular will at the time and his feeling was i'm going to protect and save the security, the civil order of the country. and, you know, it was a profile. >> you did point out that grover cleveland had been a sheriff, a mayor, a governor, and now a president. you think the fact hay had been a sheriff had anything to do with it? >> absolutely. i think there that there was a kind of conflict between the lawyer and the laborer advocate on the one hand and the sheriff who believed in public order. let me, if i can, read the first paragraph. one of the things we try to do -- i try to do in the book is that i wanted to not write about it as a historian. i wanted to write about it as a journalist. take you to the degree it is possible. to take you into the moment. and what these politicians were presidents were feeling and
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thinking and what the various currents of opinion were at the time that were swirling around them. and -- but to keep it very immediate and so i begin the chapter "constitution be damned." glover cleveland once killed a man two, actually. of course, they'd already bentsen tensed to death. as sheriff of erie county, new york, to avoid wasting government money on a hiring a hangman, he simply hanged the men himself. so -- i love that story. there are a lot of stories in here i didn't know. and i got a lot of help in research from this wonderful team at rugged land and that help immediate to tell the stories. and i learned a lot in writing the book. one of the things i hope anybody who reads it is that they will learn -- things that you sort of -- sort of heard of, the whiskey rebellion, the berlin airlift, there are these sort of words that i was aware of in a moment in american history but is no great presidential historian.
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i didn't really know what they were, what they memorandum. what were the circumstances that led to them. as i, you know, read the research and started writing about these presidents, you know, learned about the great drama as involved. >> what about rugged land? first time we have ever done a book from that publisher? any background on them, who they are? >> well, there is a fellow named sean coin who is the publisher and another fellow, his partner who is the editor of a wonderful named web stone. they started this. it is a small us to and lower west side of new york. as i say, they got a relationship with random house. and they are very good. and it was -- it is a very interesting process, first time author. i didn't, you know, i'd always read about the role of an editor. boy, a good editor, i'm sure a lot of authors told you that, can make all the difference in the world. this fellow, webster stone is just a terrific, very ink venttive and creative and very
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solid serious man. and he helped me in just countless ways in putting this book together. >> you were doing this book, though, in and around your move to fox news. did you finish it before you got there? >> no, no. the heavy writing was done since i have come to fox news. some at abc but primarily at fox. people say when did you have time to do it given the fact i do "fox news sunday," i have sunday afternoons off, all damon, all day tuesday. it actually works because all the kids are out of the house. my wife is off doing her life. so i had a lot of time to myself, 2 1/2 days a week. did the heavy work then. >> the other thing you did after each of the 16 chapters is include some primary source material. where did you get that idea? and what kind of primary source material were you looking to put in the book? >> well, something that, again, would take you back to the moment. and how s -- presidents, you know, with ronald reagan, we would talk about how he decided
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to build up weapons against tremendous opposition. so that he could try to pressure the soviets into ending the arms race. we take the specific speech in which he talks about proposed for the first time s.d.i., strategic defense initiative. and with george w. bush in iraq we would take a very powerful speech he made at the military academy at west point. some of the -- emancipation proclamation is the actual proclamation. some are documents, some of them presidential speeches. it is anything that can take you back to the moment. i talked about how we tried to make this as his tore -- journalistic as possible to take you as much into the moment as we possibly could. and the source material is, you know, how they were trying to ash -- various presidents to make their case. how they were trying to persuade the public which in almost every one of these cases was going against them. how they tried to persuade them, you know, this is the right
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thing to do. >> andrew johnson, how did he get in here? >> well, i have to say this. a certain amount of perverseness to this book. i -- you know, as i say, there are the greatest hits and there's f.d.r. and washington. and lincoln. and reagan. but there are certain presidents that i was intrigued by who go against the popular -- richard nixon is in here. you wouldn't think necessarily a book about character and richard nixon would be a good fit. andrew johnson. andrew johnson becomes the vice president and again, you know, i think most americans -- you are a great presidential historian. you probably knew all about andrew johnson. you know, most people -- andrew johnson, the vice president when lincoln was assasinated in 1965. andrew johnson was one of the very few -- the only -- correct me if i'm wrong, southern
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senator chosen to help as -- as a vice president for his bravery and the idea he could help the healing, help bind the wounds at the end of the civil war. didn't want want to come to the inauguration, was scared of it. finally was convinced by lincoln, direct order, get your tail up here to washington on his way to the capitol, stopped off and got loaded. and proceeded to deliver at the inaugural ceremony a drunken rant. of course, very shortly thereafter, lincoln is tragically assasinated and a lot of people have questions, real serious doubts as to whether johnson is a southerner had been involved because booth had come to his boarding house, wasn't it the day before or the day of, trying to remember, and had left
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a message, you know, inquiring to see if mr. johnson is at the boarding house. this became knowledge after the assassination. >> let me read this so everybody knows what you are talking about. the note from john wilkes booth -- don't wish to disturb you. are you at home? >> right. and of course, we now believe that it was in fact because the effort was let's kill the president and the vice president and throw the union into real disorder. but at the time, some people thought that there was a conspiracy going on and this was wilkes booth looking to work out with johnson the assassination of lincoln and that they were -- as i say, in cahoots together, in conspiracy. in any case, the -- official -- office of tenure act is passed because they become so upset. the senate does with johnson that would prevent him from
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firing any member of the cabinet without congressional approval. completely against the constitution. he decides to go ahead and fire stanton and, you know, it is just -- it is a remarkable profile on courage, that he was sitting there fighting for the constitution, fighting for presidential prerogative and came within a vote of being removed from office. and prior to bill clinton the only president to be impeached. these aren't all stories about guy that is did the wise thing or looking back from the point of 200 years later was the thing that was the best for the presidency -- best for the country. it was at that moment he stood up, risked his political future to do what he believed was right for the country is and certainly right for the presidency. >> you have this note in here mary todd lincoln wrote to a friend. it combines the drinking of andrew johnson and also the card that we read from john wilkes
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booth. >> that's right. >> do you remember when that was made public, that note? >> i don't. i don't. >> it doesn't say. but i wondered if -- >> no. i think it was -- >> at the time? >> yes, i think so. if not, it certainly was the case that this thought was out there, that he had been in a conspiracy. because the note from wilkes booth was certainly made public at the time. it was part of the investigation. and there was this feeling that this southerner had, you know, come in -- been taken in by lincoln to help bind the wounds of the civil war and had then betrayed lincoln and helped lead
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to his assassination and conspire. >> you say -- you have quotes in here from president lincoln at the time, ain't round the inauguration whether he was drunk. i guess you say he did -- put on quite a show, having too much to drink. >> absolutely. >> he made a bad slip the other day but you need not be scared and he ain't no drunk, abraham lincoln. >> no. it is fascinating. first of all, the whole idea that he was the vice president, i mean, again, as i say, i try to take you back into the moment what life was like and here is the man being chosen as vice president, doesn't want to come up to washington for the inauguration. he's scared of what he has gotten himself into and ordered by washington and goes and stays at rooming house and has to make his own way to the capitol for the swearing-in ceremony and stops off along the way and gets loaded. i mean, in a funny way you wished it happened today, that people lived in -- much less
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scripted, much more normal way. probably would be good for all of us. you know, that was the way it was done in 1865. >> want to drop back to the chapter before that. it is andrew jackson. and first of all, how often did you look for the little story at the beginning that -- frankly, a lot of them i never heard. >> if you didn't hear of them i'm very impressed. we did. and i cap say that i was the one personally going through the archives and doing it. it was one of the decisions i made to try to make it as non historical as possible, to make it as journalistic as possible. and it is -- device we use in journalism to find the little nugget, the little anecdote that gives -- reveals something about the guy's character. it is a device you use in journalism, lead little. lead with some little wonderful nugget, anecdote, that gives you an insight ask draws the reader in. and we begin in the case of andrew jackson with a story of him in a duel, dean fending his
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wife's honor at which he had to do a number of times. before he -- went to the presidency. >> you say -- the fellow's name is charles dickinson who was 27 years old and had already killed 26 people in duels. who is his opponent if >> andrew jackson. >> what was -- what was the reason for the due snell >> the duel was because of the fact 245 he insulted jackson's wife, who had left her husband and married andrew jackson and so -- so jackson spent a good deal of his time before he became president -- i forget the exact number but i think it was 20 something duels defending his wife's honor. and he was -- >> actually had 103 duels.
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>> 103. >> before becoming president. >> yes. >> i'm not sure it was all about his wife. >> he was the kind of guy you insulted and he would say all right, let's go fight about it. and in fact, there was some belief -- i don't know if it was ever proven, it was jackson's opponents who put dickinson up to it. dickinson didn't care about jackson's wife but that dickinson was a famed and enormously -- couldn't be unsuccessful duelist because he would be dead and that they put him up to it. he he insulted jackson and jackson went for it and they went off to have this duel. >> dickinson was dead. >> he shot -- in fact, jackson -- dickinson got the first shot off and hit him in his coat and thought that he was dead. jackson sued there, staggered, stood, turned, and shot dickinson dead. and then it turned out that in fact he had hit jackson and jackson's boot was filling with
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blood. and there was -- there was a story that jackson had purposely lowered the top left brass button a couple of inches because apparently that was where duelists aimed because the brass button lined up with the heart. if you hit somebody in the brass button, you would hit him in his heart and he did hit the brass button but it was a little lower. it only gave him a chest wound. >> andrew jackson kept 37 pistols in duel-ready condition. did you come across any other stories about duels back in those days? it must have -- was it all -- going on all the time in politics? >> well, of course, alexander hamilton, sure. it was a way people settled things. talk about negative politics. it was a way to get rid of your opponent. let's get them into a fight. in this case with dickinson who was all but a hired gunman who had been brought in by jackson's political opponents, let's get rid of andy by getting him to defend his -- honor of his wife.
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>> you mentioned several times that you are a journalist and not a historian. talk some more about what the difference would be if a historian were sitting here talking about this versus a journalist. >> well, i don't know. maybe it is something more in my own mind than it is in reality because some of the really good historian -- histories i have written -- read rather, like john adams, certainly have something of what i would think of as the journalistic touch to them. you know, that begins, as i remember, with adams going -- you know, on his horse and solitarily going down the boston post road towards philadelphia. i think anything that puts you in the moment and takes you back in very specific -- almost anecdotal form and relies on details and characters, you know, i'm sure there are a lot of people out there that will say that's good history. to me, it had a little bit of
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the feel of a good journalistic profile that you might see in the paper, one of the news something zeens. -- magazines. that takes you back into the moment and creates individual characters, individual -- vivid characters. that's what i want to do. i want dant want to be looking back from the vantage point of saying now we understand what this person was doing. we will take you back into the moment and what these guys did. take you back to andrew johnson in the swearing-in ceremony at the capitol and the horror of everyone including lincoln as he sits there three sheets to the wind and proceeds to denounce, you know, a lot of of the people in attendance. i wanted to give it the vivid you are there quality. >> no footnotes. in the back only references to books you read. purposely done that way and for what reason? >> i guess -- i can't say there is a tremendous amount thought
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given to that. we certainly wanted to credit all the source material. you know, i think to a certain degree, given the fact that this is not about one president, it is about 16, i think, you know, i can't say that if -- i'm delighted that there's things you didn't know. we obviously in terms of the researchers and stuff weren't going into the stacks and trying to find source material that had never been uncovered to a certain degree, the point of the book is to look at specific moments of time, national crisis, and a lot of it has been reported by other historians. we wanted to give them full credit. and to say this is -- we are making a point. in a sense, all of this is leading to a specific larger theme which is the idea of presidents standing up guns popular will, against advice, again the polls, against their own background as in the case of
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grover cleveland in doing the right thing. >> the chapter after andrew johnson is lyndon johnson. i want to read what you wrote. was this while he was president? >> when he was vice president. >> i mean -- >> yes. >> not after he retired. >> no, no, no. >> aides had to lift him up and move his arms about to get him circulated. do you have any idea where that came from? >> you know, i'm -- you are asking me about something i wrote a year ago. it is in the source material. i'm not sure if i can say specifically what book it was from. >> he was so depressed when he was number two when this was going on. >> absolutely. >> there was a lot in here that compares to today. you run the -- the news conference. the presidential news conference on vietnam. and i marked it because i wanted to read it and ask you if you
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hear any of the things that we are hearing today. we this is july 28, 1965. what did you learn from -- what else did you learn from that knauss conference? vietnam. >> well, you know, i think that so many of these people -- i have to say, this was a revelation to me because i lived through that time. and -- >> how old would you have been in 1965? >> about 18. and i certainly was a where of vietnam and our deepening involvement. i can say i was aware at the time because johnson certainly didn't portray it. it was only later. that's one of the things that's wonderful. try to take you back in one
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time. the one thing we had no journalist could have had we have the records of what the presidents were thinking of. he wrote his memoirs and other people have written historical accounts about it, the degree to which he felt torn by not wanting to be the first president to lose a war, a war this he -- he fell he had inherited. but on the other hand, in terms of what his passion was, was truly and deeply committed to the great society to the war on poverty. and to -- quite frankly, misled the american people, lied about it, because he wanted not to fully state the involvement of the united states in -- growing involvement in vietnam and the bombing of north vietnam because he wanted to come. he knew that if it became widely and fully known how much he was going to have to spend on this war, they would cut back on his beloved social programs and he wanted to get them entrenched and on the way before people
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became fully aware of the war. >> a lot of what you roll about, rolling thunder, the bombing of the north. this is 1965 from the news conference. what i'm getting at is a little bit of what we are hearing about iraq. we just cannot now dishonor our word or abandon our commitment or lead those who believe in us and trusted us to the terror and repression and murder that would follow. this is talking about leaving vietnam back then. did all that happen when we left? >> no -- well, obviously they are one of our great business partners. >> we hear this -- i mean, there's a theme through all of this. you hear politicians talking about this. i wonder if we ever learn anything from history. >> well, you know, that gets to be politically quite politically heavy because, you know, some people will say, you know, vietnam and iraq are not very good comparisons. >> i mean, we heard that for
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months. i guess i'm asking you whether you think they are comparison at all and in s this language useful at all now in understanding what's going on? >> well, you know, iraq -- one of the -- it is a hard question to answer because of the fact that we know about vee nam. and we know that so much of what we feared about vietnam turned out not to be true. the domino theory didn't turn out to be true. you know, that it was only seven years after that -- 1965 news conference that the -- red chinese who were being played up as such devils in lyndon johnson's world, nixon, who is also in the book, goes to china and repairs almost 30 years of with his handshake with -- with his handshake. there's a lot of stuff our greatest fears in vietnam that don't turn out to be true.
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we don't have the advantage of the long view of history of iraq, what going to happen in iraq, what happened if we -- if we failed in iraq. i can give you my political opinions if you want to hear them, but i don't know how much they are worth. it's a funny thing about history because on the one hand a lot of people said about reagan that a lot of what he said about the soviet union and his buildup of arms during the 1980's was wrong and the idea of building up to tear down weapons, the arms buildup to try to force reductions was equally crazy or was equally shortsighted. turned out -- that turned out to be pretty smart. i know people disagree as to whether or not reagan helped to bring the end of the cold war or not. as someone who covered it i think had he a heck of a lot to do with bringing the end of the cold war. in that case, presidential prescriptions of disaster, i
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think, were of this is the cure that's going to prevent those. turned out to be true. >> here's some more from that news conference. >> it's interesting, 114 members then, it's 192 now. just since 1965. >> right. of course instead of the soviet union you have how many nations now? and then there are -- there are a lot of africa and other parts of the world that developed. it's an interesting question. that, you see, throughout this book is the whole relationship between this country and other countries and the number of times that presidents relied on international good will, teddy roosevelt trying to stop the
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russo japanese war over manchuria in the early 1905. then on the other hand you've got other cases where presidents went completely against the will of the international community. again, one of my favorite stories which i just love, i learned so much in the preparing of is harry truman and the berlin airlift. in 1948 when the soviets decided they were going to cut off access to the western allieses to berlin -- allies to berlin, and all of the president's top diplomats, all of his top generals said, you're crazy. there ises no way we are going to be able to support -- there is no way we are going to be able to support and replenish berlin. yet 2.5 million people there, by air, it's impossible. it has never been done. it can't be done. truman, actually it's a part of the book that i wanted to mention today, they have a
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meeting with all of the top advisors and truman says -- they all tell him, absolutely can't happen. and truman is in the oval office and is talking to one of his top diplomats and he says the president cut them off with a roar, there is no discussion on that point. we stay in berlin, period. and then -- >> if there's a message in this book it's that. it is always do right. what's right, we can talk about vietnam. you can talk about iraq and say that it's easier to tell it from the vantage point of a quarter century or century later.
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but this book is all about presidents who in that moment in history did what they thought was the right thing. >> you also bring up a famous old quote in the harry truman book, i like old joe, he's a decent fellow. and then you go on to describe what clerk clifford said, told him not repeat that. what was the famous line? what was he thinking? >> he liked it. he met him and thought he was charming. >> joe stalin. >> he thought joe stalin was charming. played the piano for him. stalin had reciprocated. he bought the line. as you say they said to him, don't do that again. i think he admitted that he messed up and realized he hadn't said the right thing. and knocked it off. and stood up and -- the story -- i don't know how many people really know -- i was certainly aware of the berlin airlift, but
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the story of how they flue what was called operation vittles, they flew these war planes over from west germany to east germany, thousandses of tons of food -- thousands of tons of food, various staples of coal, fighting through the terrible -- anybody who's ever been in central germany in the winter knows how terrible the weather can be, fogs, planes crashed, they kept it going. nobody believed it was possible. they kept it going until finally in may of 1949, old joe stalin caved and gave in and allowed them back to have access to berlin. this was at a time when every one of his top foreign policy advisors and top generals in washington said, can't be done. let's pull out of berlin. >> describe, though, again why
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this -- for somebody that never thought about it, berlin sat where at that time? >> here's -- i'll do it -- here's germany and it's divided in half roughly, this is west germany and here's east germany, berlin, which was divided, is right in the middle of east germany. there's hundreds of miles between the east german border and berlin. they cut off all rail travel. they cut off all travel on the ground. the only way that the allies and primarily the americans but the brits helped, too, could get from -- supply from west germany into berlin was by plane. >> you talk -- you start out by saying that there was, 10, 15 minutes before each flight, at one point i think you got down to a minute between each flight? >> they were just -- they literally would come in, land, fly back out, land in west germany, as quickly as they
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could reload the plane. i think at some point -- it was months before they -- they had a certain amount that they had to be able to bring in. i think it was 4,000 tons a day to be able to feed these 2.5 million people . to have coal to get them through the winter. all the various staples. it was months before they finally were able to achieve this 4,000-ton mark. and then they began to be able to repeat it. it was, again, this is the point i want to make, it is not a test of ideology or intellect, it's a test of will and purpose and again and again and again in this book, we see these presidents who just have the will and purpose to stand up against every possible obstacle and do what they believe was the right thing. >> in the supporting primary source material on harry truman, address at mechanics home, boston, october 27, 1948, again things sound like what we hear today n this speech he says the
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communists don't want me to be president. how often have we heard that for a president says, so and so -- >> the mean -- enemy of america doesn't want me. >> it also said it must be the policy of the united states to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjew gation by armed minorities or outside pressures. >> that's the point. to go back -- i'm glad you have given me the opportunity now to go back to the vietnam thing. sometimes when you look at what these presidents said trying to rally the troops, i don't mean literally the troops, but the country, looks on the -- like spin from 35, 40 years later, sometimes it looks pretty prescient. >> one more from lyndon johnson on the vietnam thing. we insist and we always insist that the people of south vietnam shall have the right of choice, the right to shape their own
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destiny in free elections in the south or throughout all vietnam under international supervision, and they shall not have any government imposed upon them by force or terror so long as we can prevent it. it didn't work out that way. >> no, that's right. it did not work out that way. one of the things that we talk about in the lyndon johnson chapter is the dream he had where he dreamt that he wases in a field and he was tied down and couldn't get out. he had this -- there's a tragedy, sort of a grand tragedy to the lyndon johnson chapter, because he was this man who had lived. he had been a teacher in the 1940's of a lot of hispanic kids and had been this wonderful teacher, mr. johnson, who had really changed their lives and given them education and taught them about health and all these
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things and had given them a tremendous social conscience. when he went into the white house that was what above all he wanted to do was the great society. then he was caught by the vietnam war and either was unwilling or unable to get out of it. >> you mentioned earlier about covering the white house six years under ronald reagan. was that the entire time you covered the white house? >> yes. from 1982 through the end of his term. >> also said it looks different inside than looking at it outside. what did you learn? >> it's interesting because i think -- everybody brings to the presidency their own life experience, and i -- as someone who was -- trying to think, 13 years old in 1960, the whole kennedy experience was tremendously influential in my kind of development of my political consciousness. in fact in the introduction i
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talk about the kennedy having the nobel laureates from the western hemisphere to the white house and saying this is the greatest assemblage of intellect or brainpower, forget the exact word, except for the time when thomas jefferson dined alone. i think that was the sense that a lot of people of my age had about the white house, the best and the brightest, that it was a place, an office that demanded a kind of scintillating intellect. a remarkable brainpower and we heard these stories of kennedy calling down three or four levels into the bureaucracy and talking to the assistant secretary for something. and so when i went to the white house i kind of brought to it this, if not prejudice, this kind of preconceived notion that it would de -- it demanded a mastery of policy and a mensa
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i.q. i tell the story in the introduction that i was in the oval office one time -- i think it was early on, about 1983, and reagan had just come up with a new arms control proposal to the soviets, and quite complicated. this whole thing to do with first strikes. it would not be a first strike effort so it wouldn't increase the instability and make more of the hair trigger on the arms race. but it was one of these complicated things that had to be explained to me several times. as he was announcing it in the oval office, i was the only tv pool reporter, for some reason which i don't understand, it's not done often, i remember we had the live capability, as he was talking and presenting his proposal, there were some of us pool reporters standing just off to the side of his desk in the oval office. when he finished he answered a few questions. i asked him if he could explain
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his arms control plan. and as i admit in the book, i can't think at the time of any other reason that i asked the question other than to stump him, because i thought he wouldn't be able to explain the details of this plan. and that i remember vividly some of his top advisors standing just out of camera range gasping because they didn't think he could explain it. in fact he did explain it in perfect detail and set me back in my place where i deserved to be. the lesson i learned not from that but from my time in the white house was that it didn't matter. if he hadn't known the details, it wouldn't have made any difference. what made ronald reagan i think an extraordinary president and why i included him in this book is that he knew what he believed and he had this deep belief, i can talk about this from firsthand knowledge, that the soviets had liked -- had he a
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favorite cartoon he used to talk about, they liked the cold war. there was a cartoon he used to talk about where there were two soviet generals and i forget how they portrayed the cold war and one turns to the other and says i like the arms race a lot better when we were the only runs running in it. his belief was that if he could build up the american military arsenal and that eventually it led to the strategic defense initiative that given the economic problems in the soviet union at some point they would have to cry uncle and that that would be the way. it was his line of peace through strength that he could actually bring arms reductions by facing down the soviets, by making them not be the only competitor in the race. >> did you ever cover another president in any way? ever interview another president? >> i have interviewed clinton. i have interviewed george herbert walker bush. but certainly never covered them, no.
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>> you start off the story on richard nixon by telling a story about a man named pet trove -- petrov. >> that's the story about reagan. >> my apologies, about it didn't matter. the story i want you to tell where it came from and why did you use that? >> it gave a sense -- who was he? >> petrov was a lieutenant colonel and he was in one of the air defense command centers in the soviet union in i believe it was 198 3. suddenly he's sitting there, this is at a time when reagan is talking about the evil empire and the focus of evil in the modern world, i think it was a little later but one time he was doing a radio check before his saturday radio address he said we begin the bombing in five minutes. the feeling that he was building up in this country toward the
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soviets and the feeling the soviets had about the united states was absolutely a hair trigger. people in both countries were terrified that the other country meant to launch a first strike nuclear attack. again for people of a certain age who don't remember -- who didn't live through that time, it's hard to remember the degree to which the unthinkable was thinkable. i remember in the 1984 campaign reagan had to come out and say that a nuclear war could never be fought and can never be won because there were a lot of people in the country who believed that ronald reagan was preparing, was leading the way towards a nuclear strike. anyway, without his background petrov in the military, an air defense base outside moscow and looks up and sees what appears to be an american icbm missile headed over the horizon. then a few moments later he sees more missiles headed over the
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horizon. and he has the authority at that point to launch a nuclear counterstrike. and he realizes what this is going to mean. that he's going to basically destroy the united states and that the soviet union would be destroyed. there is no way to call back the missiles. there is no strategic defense initiative to knock them down. this is going to be the nuclear holocaust. he has it in his power to unleash it. then something in him just says i don't believe it. i don't trust it. even as the satellite technology shows more and more missiles headed over the horizon, and he goes against everything he has been taught, everything he's been trained to do, and doesn't launch the strike. doesn't turn the key. >> unlike here in this country where you have to have the chain of command. they don't have that? >> at that time they didn't. he had the right to be able to do that. and didn't. >> he was a lieutenant colonel. >> yes. >> and how did we ever learn
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that story? >> again, i can't remember the specific thing, but it's in some of the source material that the research teams developed for me. >> you paint the picture of lieutenant kohl member -- colonel petrov today. >> and he's stuck in a little apartment, completely forgotten. >> can't even afford a telephone. >> exactly. >> never whack recognized by his own government -- never was recognized by his own government. >> right. >> on page 397 you write -- only the decision badly misred the situation on the ground in iraq, it became a misstep with profound implications for years to come. those are your words. do you think that -- >> let me see. aim going to have to read what i wrote. >> the original iraq war, 1991. >> yes. >> when i read that i wondered does chris wallace think we should have kept on going to
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baghdad? >> it's an interesting question. what we are talking about, let me explain, i thought you were talking about something now. this is 1991. the troops, the iraqi troops have been kicked out of kuwait. they are on their way back on what was called the highway of death, became known as the highway of death of the aner american air and ground forces are slaughtering these people. and colin powell and cheney, come to first president bush and say this is un-american, it looks like we are slaughtering these people. and we need to call an end to the war. and bush believing that the situation is total chaos for the iraqis and that saddam hussein's forces have been totally routed calls an end to the war after 100 hours. the situation certainly was badly misread because in fact
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all of the american forces believed that the republican guard had all been caught and were being torn apart on this highway of death. as it turned out the vast majority of them had gotten away. i think all of the forces in the pentagon and the white house and probably the state department believed that saddam hussein had been so fatally weakened in 1991 that he could never survive. as it turned out in fact that the essential forces of the republican guard and of his command and control structure had survived and as we saw with the slaughter of the shi'ites very shortly thereafter he was able to maintain his repressive regime. the question you directly asked me, should we have gone into baghdad? that would have been hard to do. that wasn't what the coalition had been formed to do. i doesn't -- he said dafle, say in the book we should have gone into baghdad. but i think the situation was
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badly misread and clearly it would have been better for the world, i think, had saddam hussein been sufficiently weakened so that his regime could have been toppled from within if only that. >> let me ask you about the war in iraq. as someone who asks others about this in your job -- >> this war now. >> this war now, and it's entirely up to you, do you feel strongly about the war one way or the other? >> you mean whether it was a good idea or bad idea? >> yeah. >> i have an opinion. yeah. >> i'm getting -- people who watch you ask questions of others think they can see a lot of things that probably they are wrong about. is it hard to have a strong opinion on something and then to be in the business of asking others questions? >> it's an interesting thing. because the initial answer would be -- i think the kind of knee-jerk answer from the journalists would be absolutely not.
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we are professionals. we are able to separate our conditions from the job we do. i can remember -- i was about to give you that answer. and -- the analogy i always use is we are a plumber. if i went to somebody's house and maybe i have some relationship with brian lamb, i think he's a dirty so and so, if i'm called to fix your leak, i'll fix your leak. since i have come to fox news i have come to feel that there are a lot of hidden, unexamined assumptions and opinions that do feed their way into reporting and that it's -- some people say fox news, they are right wing and they -- the point i make, it's certainly on my broadcast, "fox news sunday" i think if you are aware i do have opinions. and you confront that fact -- i don't think broadcasting them, i don't think it's useful to say
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what my feelings and opinions are about the iraq war, but i do have them and i think maybe i confront them a little bit more openly and humanly and maybe it helps me a little bit in dealing with trying to be an honest broker in terms of asking tough questions of all sides as we come to the end of the political campaign, because i -- instead of saying, gee, i don't have biases, i recognize the biases and try to put them in my back pocket. >> you also say in the chapter on george w. bush, when i first met him at a small luncheon for reporters, the reality was in sharp contrast to the popular image. when did you first meet him and what's the difference? >> the first time i had a prolonged -- the first time i had met him. i never hit him as a candidate. during most of his term when i was working at abc and not
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involved in politics i had been the very first time i met him was one of these white house christmas parties where you're in a receiving line and you shake his hand. the first time hi any exposure to him was -- i had any exposure to him was the day of the state of the union speech which was the day after the iowa caucuses this year, 2004, and they hold a luncheon at the white house for the anchors of the evening newscasts and ankors of the sunday shows. so this was my first invitation to it. in what's called the family dining room. a small dining off off the state dining room. and the president and vice president and a few of his top aides were there and it was his opportunity at lunch to sell what he was going to say in his state of the union speech. i guess again the view you have as an outsider of this president, certainly something that's been portrayed in the press, is that he does not have a mastery of detail, to some
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degree i never really believed this but maybe he's under the sway of vice president cheney. that he might not be in full command of policy, certainly as i say the details of policy. what i found at the lunch was this was a guy -- i don't think it was an act. i think this is a guy who is really in charge. was very conversant in the details of policy. they conversant -- he just had a delegation of iraqis in. was talking about the sunnis and the sheas and various specific guys and various secretaries. -- sects. it's like that wonderful, "saturday night live" skit they had about reagan where he was there and kind of -- slightly dense. and then with the press and then he goes in and starting to talk arabic to one guy and leading the generals around. and there was that sense of bush
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that there was a command and a professionalism of a person who ran the show that i had never seen before. >> we are out of time. our guest has been chris wallace. and this is the cover. book, "character, profiles in presidential courage." thank you. > i'm honored to be one of your last guests on this show. honored you paid such attention to the book.
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>> now joining us on booktv is an old washington hand, and that is ambassador stuart eizenstadt. he is also an author, the future of the jewish is the name of the book. ambassador eizenstadt, why are you writing a book about the future of the jewish? >> we have survived 3000 years of calamities, culminating in a holocaust in our own time and yet we have survived and thrived and can should be to two societies, even those that did not want us. now we have a whole new set of 21st century challenges and the question is, having survived those terrible times, can we now survive prosperity, success and
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integration? i look at this from two perspectives. i look at the global forces that affect america, american jews in israel, everything from the shift of power from the united states and the west to china and the east, the powers of globalization in the digital era, how to deal with a 1.6 million muslims in the world, the threat of iranian nuclear power, and i also look at internal threats, low birthrates, assimilation and again, whether we can in effect succeed at a time when we are more successful than ever in being integrated into our society. it's a new phenomenon and that is really why i wanted to write the book. i also write about that from an israeli perspective. i have been to israel maybe 40 times, three times this year alone, during the carter and clinton administrations.
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i was deeply involved in policies and the u.s. and israel but i also write from the perspective of someone who has relatives in israel, who has spent many many years in israel so it's a unique perspective looking from the outside in and from the outside in. .. moid mid we're only 2 percent in
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the population. we have shared values, shared enemies and islam terrorism that many people in the united states view israel as the holy land, not just jews but non-jews as well. it's a remarkable thing, at the time whether there's so much polarization between the republicans and democrats, it's one of the few foreign policy issues that actually united democrats and republicans. >> what the future of the jews, is your book title projobbing tiff in a way? do you mean it to be? >> i mean it be. can people who survived the calamities for 3,000 years in effect accept success and full integration and how do you react to that? it is optimistic but realistic. it looks at the dem graiive of israel and see whether 2.5 million israelis can control 2
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million palestinian against their will. it look at low birthrate in the low replacement level with intermarriage that threatens to reduce the number of jews. there were 17 million jews in 1939 in a world of 2 billion. there are 13.5 million in a world of 7 billion, and so it looks at a very provocative way. i'm optimistic that we can survive the external threat, the shift of power, globalization, the nuclear threat from iran, globalization because we're not alone. the united states and the west are in the same battles ourselves. it's the internal threats to the internal cohe thinks d cohex of success. i'm optimistic we can coit but there are real challenges. >> ambassador, you were involved
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in the carter administration, if you could just recap what you did for the president? >> i was the president's chief domestic sad visier. it was my -- i created the holocaust memorial. i worked on -- during the clinton administration, i was ambassador to the european union, and i ask as undersecretary all the holocaust notions. i negotiated $8 billion of swiss, the us a trains for the slave labor, insurance, property restitution and the like. and here i'm really trying to look at this in a perspective of someone who has been a senior government official but also a leader in the jewish community. that's why the book has been endorsed by president harris and clinton. >> "the future of the jews," how
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global forces are impacting the jewish people, israel, and the relationship with the united states. this is booktv on c-span2. here's a look at some upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. this weekend booktv is live from the 2012 miami book fair international. we'll bring you live coverage of author presentations and panel discussions as well as give you the chance to interact several authors through facebook chat and call in interviews. for complete schedule of live coverage, visit our website at booktv.org. also this weekend, is the 36th annual boston book fair. the fair will feature durches of exiters and display several first or special edition of classic novels and books. florida will host in the 31st annual key west literary are
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seminar . novellest james patterson is speaking at the miami book fair. he talked about the reading program that he has personally started. we wanted to look at some of the other reading programs that are available in the united states and see what the earths are. i want to begin with jane robinson the chief financial officer of a group. if you can describe what first book is to start.
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>> yes, hi peter. i want to say thank you to c-span for the incredible support you given to the entire industry and entire concept of reading, literacy, c-span has been a leader on that. it's wonderful just to salute you. first book is a non-profit that provides books and educational materials to programs, serving kids in need, classrooms serving kids in need, across the united states. >> how did you get started? where did you get your funding from? >> we started twenty years ago. we are celebrating the 100 million book distributed this week probably. we started twenty years ago at the table in washington, d.c., we have distributed more and more as the years gone by
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because we started the -- [inaudible] especially in recent years we distributed probably 10 million, or 11 million a year. we support programs across the united states. we over 40,000 and our funding comes from a lot of it comes from corporate cause marketing campaigns that we do as well as individual donors at some foundations. we also created a revenue generating moble, which is the first book. >> now, ms. robinson, is there a special focus for first book. do you do the precoolers or work through classrooms or what? >> the first book is [inaudible] sport all kids in need and reading fundamental is a good example. we have over 1900 reading
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fundamental programs supported by first book as well as over 40,000 others. so head starts, classrooms, after school programs, mentoring, kids up to 18 are supported by first book. jane robinson mentioned it. and we are joined by the president and ceo. give us the background, if you would on reading is fundamental. >> fort-six years ago -- [inaudible] who was then in the cabinet she went to a meeting that jacqueline ken city called at the white house of all cabinet spouses and mrs. kennedy said to told each spouse, we are each going do something to make washington a better place for the people who live and work here every day.
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mrs. mcnamara had a great reputation as a reading tutor. she tutored the wealthier children in town and children who were from poor economic background. she had found one day in the tutoring how much it meant to the three boys she was tutoring at the local public school. to be given a book. she brought her books that her children had. she let them take a book home. one of the mothers came to school the with next day to return the stolen book. we said no, we want the child to have a book. it started the tradition present a book to a child writing the child write the name in it. -- does not pretended to be the teacher of reading. she's here to help children -- read well and that usually means
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poor children, we are here to help them see the joy of reading. first by putting that book in their hands, that they have chosen and write the name in it. and then over recent years we have tried to begin to stress even more the parental involvement that needs to happen. we have undergone a transition in the last year for 46 years for the last 34 years we a large federal book grant that was not funded in the budget. so we are now doing the kinds of things we probably should have done more of. forming collaboration with the friends at first book, we have always done private fund racing. we are stepping back.
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>> the two organizations and carol, if you start, do you see yourselves as competitors, collaborators or how? >> we sees ourself as collaborators. we get asked that question all the time about competitors. jane already medicationed, we have a significant number of programs that purchase the books from the marketplace that she mentioned. but we have always looked at for all kinds of ways to be able to collaborate and when the federal grant went away, first book put together a wonderful proposal and came to -- [inaudible] with the proposal to allow us to purchase books from them in a marijuana that would really allows us to purchase about 250,000 or 200,000 more books than we would normally get for the same dollar spent elsewhere. and so we're excited that we're going to be giving this one
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medical books over the several months and where the very moment starting the first distribution of those. we're to focusing doing the work this year out of school [inaudible] children out of school for a winter holiday, spring break and summer. we're going to provide the books during those times. they will produce activity sheets that go home with the books over the out-of-school time. with the school treeing stressing to the parents or other groups we serve that the parent will get engaged with reading with the child in the out of school time. there's a lot of excitement in the first book about the project right now. >> jane robinson? >> carol is right. we are clab collaborators in the extreme. carol was a fantastic educator
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and lead the sector for a long time. not too long, carol, of course. >> of course. >> first book has built a supply pipeline that sphots programs like carol's program and like many others that do fantastic work. our prepare model has been to build the lo guestic that provide tremendous access of some programs and classrooms serving kids in need because that was a huge gap chaffs missing. our founders founded it twenty years ago. one of them kyle discipler -- a great friend was volunteering
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hours and hours a day. just the -- [inaudible] if they were beyond the programs like at the time and many, many were. so what we have realized is when we can certainly solve one part of this problem. we can build a pipeline to get great resources so them. programs like this and others are increasingly devoted to what kind of -- [inaudible] how they use that in the classroom and we consider ourself soldier in the same war. taking on that challenge and expanding beyond what we have reached so far so we can get completely across the united states and beyond with fantastic
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resources. >> jane, do you work with public libraries? >> we do. we like to be sure that we get brand new books that are chosen by the administrators and teachers. that's our primary focus, we absolutely have worked with the corporate partners to supply school libraries with brand new books, and we had multiple initiatives that focus on really replenishingly briers. and as a matter of fact right now in the response to the hurricane sandy devastation, we have got a website up. we're working with partners to raise funds to purchase terrific replacement for library in new york and new jersey area. >> have you moved it 0 the e-book world at all?
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>> well, not a big way yet. we have been exploring it, and we don't discourage it. many of the schools and children we serve most have not had access to the, you know, the piece of commitment and -- equipment and we have become looking at how can we pro mote that. in addition to wanting children to have books and get them engaged, and we know that the e-book is a great way to do that for children. i don't want to look back ten years from now and say we let another digital divide occur. we want to make sure that the children we're serving have the opportunity to learn how to use the e-book and what is there and what it can mean to them. so we know our friends at first
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book are working on the kind of thing, and i can't help but think in another year or two, it will probably be a project we're doing together. >> jane you are working on e-books? >> we are. we are working on a digital platform so we can reverse bound drink of all kinds of limitation for the kids. anyone is confused about whether this is a guide, let me reassure everyone that there's a horrible gap in the country. 42%, and that is a misstatement. 42% of the kids in the united states are from low-income families. they simply don't have the kind of access to educational resources and books that children have. that's a lot of kids. 30 million kids. and if we're going to bridge that gap or divide or inequity whatever you want to call it, we
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have build a stand system that can affordably get those terrific resources to them. that doesn't mean books are going away. it means that digital content, digital device, and the terrific research and learning for people like the -- [inaudible] center all of these resources have got to be brought to what is called the base of the economic pyramid globally. there's a base of the economic pyramid here in the united states too. we've got bridge that for the kid. that's what first book needs to do. as carol said, we have a large plan to get a digital platform going. and we're about to do that working hand and hand with terrific organizations like this. >> now, carol, former first lady barbara bush and laura bush made
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reading one of the signature issues in the white house. do you see a difference in support when something like that happens? when it's that high profile? >> well, we certainly do. and we were fortunate to have both on the first lady on the advisory committee up until it went in the white house when we were forced to get on every committee you ever served on. the visibility that each brought with them to the white house whether they were still serving on any official board or committee was extremely helpful. they both have foundation that have that continued. it's certainly a big help when people like that in those positions of power are helping people see that there are children throughout who not have a single book in the home except and what we hear most often when we talk to children of lesser
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economic means, you'll say do you have a book at home? we know we're getting ready to hand them one. or we would never ask that. and the two most common things. my mother has a book rapped up in special that she keeps in a drawer. you realize that some kind of family bible that is special and the children know that. or they will talk about the book with the yellow paper. the book with the yellow paper is going away. there are no yellow pages in any communities anymore. it's difficult for those always had all the books you could ever have wanted them or go to the library frequently as i did in a small town in southern arkansas, i went twice a day during the summers. and i love to read. it's hard for us to believe that there are no books in a home for a child. the child lives too far from the library to walk, or ride a bike,
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if they have a bike. fitting the library to the family schedule whether there's limb free time, they can't afford it or there is no transportation. that is difficult. so it it's critical that we believe things we're being told that these children are in need of one of the most basic things that most children get very early in life. that's books. >> jane, you have sixty seconds to make a pitch to somebody who may give your organization money and to a parent. what is your pitch? >> i think the pitch is believe us, there is a gap in the united states. we have got provide a hero to our serving kids in need with the resources they need. we're losing gene -- gene uses we're not give the educational
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tools, the books they need to make their imagination spring to life and have a rich, full work. it's a work force issue, health care issue, it's a citizens i are issue. people don't vote if they don't know how to read. we have to enrich for the bottom up so kids now they have a chance. >> what's your pitch, carol? >> well, today we have children entering the schoolhouse doors that are already so far behind their peers with one simple set of figures based on a very good study that was done a number of years ago. and we had kindergarten children entering the school who were from welfare families that had [inaudible] a vocabulary for 3,000 words. that sounds like a lot of words. however, children from upper income middle family had a
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listing vocabulary of 20,000 words. that's a huge gap, and unfortunately in this country, we never close that gap. so we need to start early, and then we need to be ready to [inaudible] as jane dissed in to the earliest years of children being in a school setting where we can try to meet them best. >> carol is ceo of reading is fundamental. what is your website? >> rif.org. >> and jane robinson is chief football -- financial office of first book and the website? >> firstbook.org. >> and we thank you both for being on booktv and talking about your reading programs. >> thank you. >> thank you.
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>> here's a look at some books being published this week.
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blank [inaudible conversations] joining us again on booktv is senator rand paul. his second book "government bullies." senator, who are the bullies? >> well, all throughout your government, there's 41 different agencies who carry firearms in the government. i don't mind the police or the fbi, well, the department of agricultural has a swat team. the fish and wildlife have a swat team. they raided gibson guitar with guns drawn, took their computer equipment. when they accused them of something which was breaking a foreign regulation. a law in india they were accused of breaking and penalized in the u.s. for breaking a law in the india. those are the kind of stories we
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write about. >> how come we haven't heard about that before? >> some of them you have heard. one the case of john and judy. they were selling bun anies in missouri. they fined $95,000 for having a wrong permit. the government said you can pay on the website. if you don't pay in thirty days you'll owe $3.1 billion. it's the kind of stuff the government is doing to bully people, and we frankly think it needs to stop. they're doing the same with confiscating people's land and saying you can't build on it because it's a wetland. even though there isn't a pond or stream on the land. >> as a senator, what can you do to change policy? >> we look to some of the things, we now conducted legislation to try to fix them. on the wetlands, we say, the clean water act says you can't discharge pollutants in to
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navigable water. your background is not a 1/2 gaunt water and dirt is not a pollutant. we try to redefine the clean water act. a woman in southern mississippi got 88 months in federal prison without parole for putting clean dirt on her own land. >> senator, when you talk to the colleagues about the incidents, what do you hear? >> some are horrified about eight of them who signed on a cosponsored my bill to fix it. the other 92 i'm not sure what they're thinking about. when you tell the american people how the government is harassing, abusing, and imprisonnings people for selling raw milk, you can go to an amish farmers, some of them have been arrested and threatened with jail because they're selling milk to their neighbors. >> senator, paul, will you be taking the issues nationwide?
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>> we're going to be talking about it anywhere people will listen. we think got government has got on out of control. government has become amuck. >> november 2012 post election, what did the 2012 election clarify for you? >>. >> that we as republican need do something to grow as a party. we're in danger of becoming a dinosaur if we don't figure out what people want in the west coast, new england, around the great lakes. they are solid blue until we figure out what people want. >> what do u think they. the. >> they are conservative. they think we should balance the budget. but i also think we don't think we should be at war wherever all the time. i think they want more tolerant policy as far as putting people in prison for possession of marijuana. i think they see more local judges of that.